Mark Watson found love again after cheating on his pregnant wife

The woman who Mock The Week star Mark Watson found love with after he cheated on his pregnant wife ‘because his career wasn’t going well’ – and she found out just after she gave birth to their second child together

  • Comedian Mark Watson’s new memoir praises his girlfriend Lianne Coops
  • Read more: Famous comedians’ agent sparks anti-Semitism scandal at Edinburgh Fringe after berating Jewish performer in bar bust-up

As Mock the Week comedian Mark Watson laments cheating on his pregnant wife because his career was not going well, he has also revealed the light at the end of the tunnel when his new girlfriend helped put him back together following his heartache. 

The comic, who hails from Bristol, reveals in Mortification: Eight Deaths and Life After Them that he embarked upon the affair when his career went into freefall after he refused to take part in comedy panel shows like Mock the Week which had helped make his name. 

As he describes the pain he felt at hurting his ex-wife Emily Howes, who discovered his infidelity shortly after giving birth to their second child, he explains how his life turned around when his new girlfriend, Lianne Coop, came into the picture and they built a ‘happy, loving relationship’.

Lianne, whom he affectionately calls ‘Coop’ in the book, now runs a production company, Impatient Productions, with Watson after years in the production industry working for the BBC. 

While loved-up Watson sings her praises in his memoir, Lianne is just as complimentary about the comedian and once claimed he has made her ‘better, stronger [and] softer’.

Mark Watson has praised his new girlfriend Lianne Coop (pictured at Niagara Falls together) for helping him put his life back together after his marriage broke down following the breakdown of his marriage when he had an affair

In his memoir, which has been accompanied with Watson’s appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this month, the comedian details how his life turned around when he met Lianne, while ex-wife Emily also found herself in a new, happy relationship.

He reveals of ‘Coop’: ‘[She] encouraged me – from an early stage – to try to do more of the things that would make me happy rather than merely the things I felt I ought to be doing.’

Lianne and Mark, who have been together for around five years, now work together on their joint production company, Impatient Productions. 

The company’s website lists Lianne’s impressive CV during her time working at BBC Radio Comedy, including two projects which starred her now-boyfriend; Mark Watson’s Live Address to the Nation and Mark Watson Makes the World Substantially Better. She also worked on shows with well-known comedians Rhod Gilbert and Sarah Millican. 

The couple now work together on shows starring Sofie Hagen, Angela Barnes, Paapa Essiedu and Sara Pascoe. 

In their home life, the couple enjoy holidays to destinations including Canada, where they visited Niagara Falls in the winter of 2021 to visit friends, as well as various locations around the UK, as shared by Lianne on Instagram.

Lianne and Mark have been together for several years and now run a production comapny together (pictured on NYE in 2021)

The comedian pictured with his ex wife Emily Howes at a film screening in 2013

When Watson turned 40 in 2020, Lianne posted a sweet tribute to him on Instagram as she shared a snap of him drinking champagne.

She wrote: ‘This guy turns 40 today (finally the same age decade!) I couldn’t adore him more. 

‘My life and myself are completely changed from being with him. He’s made me better, stronger, softer. He will absolutely do for another 40 years thanks.’

Watson’s career soared when he burst onto the comedy scene in 2002 when he was in his early 20s, winning an open mic award at the Edinburgh Festival and winning an army of fans. 

He proposed to ex-wife Emily Howes, who he met at Cambridge, in exuberant style, following a 24-hour comedy routine at the Fringe in 2004 – and the couple wed later that year.

However, he says a dose of FOMO at how his career was shaping up saw him struggle with his mental health. Despite doing reasonably well, he writes that he was left heavily affected if not many fans turned up to a book signing, or if he was heckled at gigs. 

A nightmare turn in Maidstone saw the audience chant ‘off’ at him. When he finally exited the stage ten minutes later, Watson says his departure was greeted ‘with the first and only cheer of the night’.  

When his career began to falter, his manager showed him the door…and Watson, once a regular on panel shows, reveals in his new memoir how he ended up cheating on his wife to stop himself feeling like a failure

The funnyman began drinking heavily and his popularity appeared on the wane, leaving his manager showing him the door. His floundering stage life led him, he says, to pursue an affair that would shatter his marriage.   

In a recent interview with The Times, he said: ‘It gives me zero pleasure to admit it, but I just wanted to win at everything – but the reality was I was doing badly.

‘It was humiliating having to accept the fact I wasn’t special but just an average man suffering cliched failures and problems. Having an affair was a way of avoiding all that.’

He shares two children with Howes, and his affair with an unknown woman was discovered by her around the time she gave birth to their youngest child, he reveals. 

Watson gained a reputation for his stage stamina, after performing 24-hour joke sessions. His new memoir, Mortification: Eight Deaths and Life After Them, reflects the times Watson says he’s metaphorically died – including dreams not materialising, and dying on stage

Documenting how he spiralled into despair, the memoir also sees him talk about his mental health decline. 

He told The Times that at one point in the last decade, he was ‘a couple of text messages’ from suicide.

He explained: ‘I just didn’t care about my life. I’d massively hurt my wife and the person I had an affair with. And I hadn’t achieved much in doing so.

‘There was a moment when I thought, “My total contribution to the world has actually been mostly negative”‘.

After his split with Emily in 2019, following attempts to patch up their relationship with marriage counselling, he embarked upon a new relationship with the comedy producer Lianne Coop. 

The book documents the highs and lows of trying to make it as a comic, saying that young performers face a dicey ‘snakes and ladders’ path to getting booked at the start of their careers. 

He writes: ‘The better your gigs go, the better your odds of being booked for more, over the dozens of other comedians vying for the same opportunity. Slither down a snake and you’ve undone the work of the last ten ladders.’ 

The standup, who got a first from Cambridge, faces up to the disappointments experienced in his career in his memoir, which began life as an audiobook before going into print this summer

The author and novelist said he was left crushed when the promise of book deals or film opportunities didn’t arise after early success. 

The title of his memoir Mortification: Eight Deaths and Life After Them, reflects the times Watson says he’s metaphorically died – including childhood dreams not materialising, and dying on stage. 

The memoir originally started life as an audiobook but was published in print on August 17th. 

Mortification: Eight Deaths and Life After Them by Mark Watson is published by Phoenix

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