MAFS UK 2023: Brad Skelly seen kissing fitness influencer following Married at First Sight axe
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Married at First Sight UK 2023 star Brad Skelly appears to have started a connection with a fitness influencer after his relationship with Shona Manderson came to an end on the Channel 4 reality show.
Fans of the show, referred to as MAFS, first had high hopes for the couple when they were paired by experts Paul C Brunson, Mel Schilling and Charlene Douglas during the social experiment which sees single strangers from across the country meet for the first time on their wedding day.
But, problems soon started appearing in the couple’s relationship after they moved in together, eventually leading to them being removed from the show due to concerns about Skelly’s behaviour towards Manderson.
The show was filmed during the summer, and it would appear that Skelly has moved on from his ex-wife with a fitness influencer named Hollie Baldwin after the two were seen getting cosy at Alton Towers Scarefest, a Halloween attraction.
So, just who are Skelly, Manderson and Baldwin, what happened between Skelly and Manderson and are Skelly and Baldwin together? Here’s what we know so far.
Who is Brad Skelly?
Skelly is a 28-year-old model from Grimsby. You can find him on Instagram @BradSkelly. His most recent post reveals that today (Tuesday 10 October) is his birthday. The dad-of-one, who has a nine-year-old son, is no stranger to reality TV as he featured on Celebs Go Dating in 2016.
Who is Shona Manderson?
Manderson is a 31-year-old performing arts teacher from Nottingham. You can find her on Instagram @ShonieMandy.
Who is Hollie Baldwin?
What happened between Brad Skelly and Shona Manderson?
Skelly and Manderson were paired on the 2023 UK series of reality dating show Married at First Sight. The pair had instant chemistry when they met for the first time at the altar, and their relationship initially appeared to be one of the strongest out of all the couples taking part in the social experiment. They bonded over their shared focus on spirituality and had also had a strong physical attraction to each other, quickly declaring that they loved each other.
However, their love was questioned by the other show participants, who accused them of confusing their lust for love. Cracks then began to appear when Manderson found out that Skelly had been discussing details of their sex life with other participants, and then Skelly accused her of being emotionally immature.
Experts Brunson, Schilling and Douglas then became concerned about Skelly’s behaviour towards Manderson when they noticed that Skelly told his wife to shut up during a dinner party with the other couples. During a conversation with them, Skelly then made a remark about “allowing” his wife to have certain feelings, which was quickly called out as unacceptable by them.
Channel 4 confirmed earlier this month that Skelly and Manderson were asked to leave the experiment after the couple's relationship was deemed "unhealthy". In a statement shared with Mail Online, Channel 4 said: "The couple's exit plays out in the show. It was agreed alongside experts Paul, Mel and Charlene that the intensive Married at First Sight environment was not working for the couple and it was the right time to leave the experiment.
"The relationships on Married at First Sight UK are closely monitored off screen by production and an independent psychologist. If any of the relationships develop in a way that is deemed to be potentially unhealthy for either party, we would take expert psychological advice as to whether it was time for them to leave the process.
"The welfare of all contributors on Married at First Sight UK is our top priority and we ensure that appropriate support is available to contributors at all times during filming, including 24/7 access to a member of the welfare team or psych support.”
Skelly took to Instagram Stories earlier this week to address the public reaction to his behaviour. He said: “There's comments about me being narcissistic, a bully and things like that and that's really not who I am. . . It doesn't disregard my actions being what they've been but everything I'm doing is with the intention to help - there's never any malice at all. I'm not a controlling person at all - anybody who knows me personally knows I don't have one controlling bone in my body.
"When I've said Shona 'you're allowed to feel' that's not me giving permission that's my terminology saying: 'You're a human being you're allowed to feel every emotion the universe gives you'. I can see how that's come across, there's just a lot of crossed wires."
Manderson has posted various posts about the show on her Instagram page. One read: “I’m choosing to focus on the lessons I’ve learnt from my journey on MAFS and turning this into a positive life lesson. In these sort of conversations which we had where I felt I was being completely patronised and belittled I have learnt and I am always still learning that I am beautiful the way I am, I don’t need to change for anyone and I’ll never let somebody make me feel inadequate to them if it’s intentional or not.”
In another she said: “Deep down in my gut I knew there was truth in what people were saying and I was almost trying to convince myself. I was completely infatuated in that relationship, I got lost and in trying to defend us as a couple I was silenced. I don’t even remember that happening . . . You grow through what you go through and never again will I put up with this behaviour.”
Are Brad Skelly and Hollie Baldwin together?
Skelly and Baldwin were reportedly spotted kissing at the VIP Scarefest launch at Alton Towers on Friday night (6 October). On Sunday (8 October) Baldwin appeared to confirm her union by a photo of them together on her Instagram alongside a star padlock emoji. This seems to have been deleted at the time of writing, however.
A source told MailOnline: 'It wasn't long after Brad was axed from Married At First Sight UK that he and Shona went their separate ways . . .'Brad and Hollie know each other from their hometown and connected instantly, they were kissing in front of the other MAFS UK cast on Friday night, they weren't holding anything back. Hollie didn't pose for any of the official photographs at the launch event as Brad was keen not to give away that his marriage with Shona is over. But they are an item and looked really loved-up.”
The supposed new couple were joined by Married At First Sight UK 2023 co-stars Nathaniel Valentino, Tasha Jay and Paul Lina, plus Love Island's Michael Griffiths and Christopher Taylor.