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An ocean apart: Alison will be so very happy to get Darren Clarke back


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Darren Clarke and wife Alison

Darren Clarke and wife Alison

Darren Clarke and wife Alison

MODEL agency boss Alison Clarke says she can't wait to be reunited with hubby Darren as the pair are in lockdown on different sides of the Atlantic.

Golfing star Darren Clarke (51) is on the island of Great Abaco in the Bahamas while Alison is seeing out the pandemic at her Portrush home.

The former Miss Northern Ireland and head of ACA Models said: "I had spent quite a bit of time with him recently, I went out to join him for a couple of tournaments and then we spent Christmas in the Bahamas before I came back home.

"He contacts me two or three times a day, usually by video call, there's a time difference of five hours which isn't too bad.

"He calls first thing and then we will always talk throughout the day and he always calls before my bedtime which is his late afternoon.

"We also did a family video call recently with [Darren's sons] Conor and Tyrone which was great fun, it was just tricky getting everyone to sit down at the same time.

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Alison and Darren on their wedding day, joined by golfer Graeme McDowell and his wife Kristin

Alison and Darren on their wedding day, joined by golfer Graeme McDowell and his wife Kristin

Alison and Darren on their wedding day, joined by golfer Graeme McDowell and his wife Kristin

"I'm very much looking forward to seeing Darren again and being in the same time zone.

"We just don't know when we will get back together because he's stranded on Abaco island which is in lockdown.

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Model boss: Alison Campbell

Model boss: Alison Campbell

Model boss: Alison Campbell

"There are boats coming and going with supplies but nobody is allowed on or off them due to the rules put in place by the Bahamian government so we will just have to wait and see.

"I live near Portrush so I have a beach nearby, too - Portstewart isn't too far so with the rules relaxing a little bit I have been able to enjoy that."

She added: "Everything in my house is now very organised and ship-shape as this has been a great chance to do it, I have even been weeding and sunbathing in the garden."

Alison was crowned Miss Northern Ireland in 1982 and has been the boss of ACA Models since 1990. The firm has gone on to establish itself as Northern Ireland's leading modelling agency but Mrs Clarke has found herself running the business from home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

She said: "At the moment the ACA modelling office is closed and I am working from home, I still have a lot of admin work even though business has pretty much stopped trading.

"We still have payments to process and things to follow up on but I was able to furlough my two staff members which I'm grateful for.

"Anything we had in place has all been postponed. Things like the Balmoral Show and the Irish Open have been postponed so our work at the moment has just dropped to zero.

"In January we had launched Miss Northern Ireland 2020 and we were geared up for 12 heats and only got four done before corona hit and hit heavy. So, all the establishments which were meant to hold the events suddenly closed overnight.

"A lot of our work is in the hospitality industry, there's always a lot of people around so social distancing is going to be difficult.

"We will just have to wait and see what the rules are going forward like everyone else.

"The most important thing is everybody staying healthy and happy."

Belfast Telegraph