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Happy Valley's Sarah Lancashire reveals 'horrifying' reason for first marriage

The former Coronation Street actress shares two children with her first husband

sarah lancashire
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
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Sarah Lancashire may be happily married to TV producer and executive Peter Salmon, but she has admitted that she regrets her first wedding to the father of her children, Gary Hargreaves.

The Happy Valley actress, who plays Sergeant Catherine Cawood, first tied the knot with the music lecturer when she was just 22 years old and pregnant with their first child, Thomas, who was born in 1987. Sarah likes to keep her relationships and home life out of the spotlight, but she previously made a rare comment about why she got married.

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"I got married only because I was pregnant. Simple as that. I am a very traditional girl and was horrified at the thought of having a child out of wedlock," she told The Mirror.

"I didn't want a child of mine to be different or have fingers pointed at them. The marriage lasted for 10 years which was 10 years longer than it should have done."

sarah lancashire kids

Sarah welcomed two sons with her ex-husband Gary and one son with Peter

Sarah and Gary went on to welcome another son called Matthew in 1988 before they split in 1995. She described leaving Gary as "really lovely" and a "cleansing experience" but said she thought it was necessary for her to marry again.

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"I have a desire, a need to feel owned," she said. "Not physically or mentally owned - I want to be spiritually owned. I want to belong to somebody. Marriage is a pact, a conspiracy of ownership. And I want that."

sarah lancashire wedding© Photo: Getty Images

The Coronation Street actress is now married to Peter Salmon

She went on to marry Peter, whom she met on the set of Coronation Street, in 2001 at Langar Hall in Nottinghamshire, and they welcomed a son, Joseph, in 2003. She has since said she deliberately keeps their relationship under wraps as it is "precious."

Meanwhile, Gary later admitted that he was hurt by her comments about their marriage. Discussing how she called him to tell him she was engaged to Peter, he said he jokingly asked if she was pregnant and she replied: "No, I'm doing it for the right reasons this time."

The Mirror reported he said: "I just couldn't believe she felt that. I didn't take it in at first, but then I was fuming. When she used those words, I was speechless. I didn't say anything, as I knew it would just have ended up in a row."

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