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Inside Jason Watkins' family life: from fashion designer wife to late daughter Maude

The BAFTA-winning actor plays family man Simon in new Channel 5 drama Coma

Clara Francis and Jason Watkins at BFI Chairman's Dinner, London, UK - 21 Feb 2017
Megan Bull
TV Writer
Updated: 18 March 2024
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BAFTA-winning actor Jason Watkins stars as devoted family man Simon in Channel 5's brand new series, Coma. Having established an impressive career with critically-acclaimed roles in The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies and The Crown, Jason has also appeared in Line Of Duty, McDonald & Dodds and Midsomer Murders, to name a few – but what is his life like away from the spotlight? Keep reading for all the details. 

WATCH: Jason Watkins stars in Channel 5's new drama Coma

Jason Watkins' wife and family life 

Jason, 61, is happily married to jewellery and fashion designer Clara Francis. The pair have been married since 2014, and often post about each other on Instagram. Back in 2020, Clara penned a sweet anniversary post to her husband, calling Jason her "partner in crime."

Clara Francis and Jason Watkins attend the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards in 2018© Jeff Spicer
Jason Watkins is married to jewellery and fashion designer, Clara Francis

Prior to meeting Clara, Jason was previously married to actress Caroline Harding, with whom he shares two sons, Freddie and Pip. 

Through his marriage to Clara, the actor later welcomed three children, Maude, Bessie and Gilbert. In 2011, however, it was sadly announced that their then-two-year-old daughter Maude had tragically passed away from sepsis. 

Jason Watkins and Clara's daughter Maude © ITV
Jason and Clara's daughter Maude sadly passed away in 2011

Following the loss of his beloved daughter, Jason became a patron of Child Bereavement UK, a charity that supports children, young people and families in the event of a child's grief or death. Both Jason and his wife have also carried out work to spread greater awareness of sepsis. 

The couple also produced an ITV documentary titled, Jason & Clara: In Memory of Maudie, which aired in March last year. During a previous appearance on This Morning, Jason explained that the documentary had been "very hard to make."

jason watkins clara
Jason and Clara welcomed three children together

"I spoke to Sarah Parish and she's lost her own child, so it is about spreading awareness of sepsis, this documentary," he said. "It's never worse than feeling your child never existed. It is a sharing of our story - it was very hard to make. The hope is that people will get an idea. It is to say to other families that there is help, by talking about it, it can help you and make you feel less alone because it is a very lonely journey."

Jason Watkins and partner Clara in documentary
Jason and Clara in their ITV documentary, Jason & Clara: In Memory of Maudie

During an exclusive interview with HELLO! last year, Jason spoke about the important work of Child Bereavement UK, opening up about his and Clara's story. "When we lost Maude, Clara started seeing a therapist that was provided by the health service but that program ran out of money after two months and ended," he explained.  

"And at the time, we didn't have much money at all. I was about to go into the West End. I was more of a jobbing actor then I suppose, I have been very fortunate since then. The two things are not exclusive, I think. Both of our successes have been fuelled a lot by our grief, definitely. 

"With things like bereavement, it’s such a personal thing that the charity is a wonderful place. Phone up for free, and somebody will help you through the worst thing that can happen to you."

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