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Coast to coast: Alison Clarke on having to spend lockdown thousands of miles apart from golfer husband Darren

Alison Clarke tells Claire O’Boyle how the Covid-19 crisis meant she and her golf star husband were trapped on opposite sides of the world and why she’s delighted her model agency business is taking bookings again

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Alison Clarke in Portrush (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Alison Clarke in Portrush (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Darren Clarke and Alison Campbell attend the Gala Dinner during The Costa Smeralda Invitational golf tournament at Pevero Golf Club - Costa Smeralda on June 25, 2016 in Olbia, Italy.  (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images for Professional Sports Group )

Darren Clarke and Alison Campbell attend the Gala Dinner during The Costa Smeralda Invitational golf tournament at Pevero Golf Club - Costa Smeralda on June 25, 2016 in Olbia, Italy. (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images for Professional Sports Group )

Darren Clarke poses with his wife Alison and  sons, Tyrone (L) and Conor after being awarded an OBE at Buckingham Palace for services to golf at Buckingham Palace on November 21, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Large - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Darren Clarke poses with his wife Alison and sons, Tyrone (L) and Conor after being awarded an OBE at Buckingham Palace for services to golf at Buckingham Palace on November 21, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Large - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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Tiger Woods of the United States, Alison Clarke and captain Darren Clarke of Europe attend the 2016 Ryder Cup Gala on September 28, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images).

Tiger Woods of the United States, Alison Clarke and captain Darren Clarke of Europe attend the 2016 Ryder Cup Gala on September 28, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images).

Alison Clarke pictured at the Royal County Down Golf Course, May 2015. Picture by Darren Kidd/Press Eye

Alison Clarke pictured at the Royal County Down Golf Course, May 2015. Picture by Darren Kidd/Press Eye

Alison and Darren Clarke's wedding

Alison and Darren Clarke's wedding

Alison Clarke in Portrush (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Alison Clarke in Portrush (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Alison Clarke in Portrush (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Alison Clarke in Portrush (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Alison Clarke in Portrush on July 6th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Weekend Magazine)

Alison Clarke in Portrush on July 6th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Weekend Magazine)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Alison Clarke, Founder MD of ACA Models in Belfast. Photo by Paul McErlane

Alison Clarke, Founder MD of ACA Models in Belfast. Photo by Paul McErlane

Alison Clarke in Portrush (Photo by Kevin Scott)

It’s been an intense few months for everyone, and model agency boss Alison Clarke admits she’s had her tearful moments along with the rest of us. The former Miss Northern Ireland, who is married to golfing star Darren Clarke, hasn’t seen her husband since the beginning of March — and like many business owners across Northern Ireland and the world, she has feared for the future.

At the very start of April I was thinking ‘how am I going to pay staff and all the costs that go with the business?’ I was wondering ‘will I survive this?’” says Alison, founder of ACA Models.

“I did worry the business might not survive. The promotional side of what we do is very much based on social interaction and all this meant there were no events, no big football events, no beer promotion in bars.