Brian Cox thinks 'separate bedrooms' are the key to a successful marriage

Brian Cox thinks that "separate bedrooms" are the key to a successful marriage.

The 77-year-old actor was initially married to Caroline Burt from 1968 until 1986 but has been married to Nicole Ansari since 2002 and admitted that these days he and his wife simply "visit each other", while his first marriage fell apart because he had started to "ignore" a lot of things in their relationship.

He told The Times: "The secret to a good marriage? Separate bedrooms. You visit one another. Your partner must feel free.

"My first marriage broke down because I was in my most ambitious period and I was ignoring a lot of stuff that was going on. My wife was very smart financially, and she did really well — she kept me afloat. But it was a strain on the pair of us and it broke us up."

Meanwhile, the 'Succession' star has Margaret, 60, and Alan, 53, from his first marriage as well as Orson, 22, and 19-year-old Torin with his second wife and admitted that because he lost his own father when he was so young, he has struggled to know exactly what parenting is all about.

He said: "Parenting is hard. My kids say I’m not bad. But I don’t consider myself any good. When you lose your father at the age of eight and your mother becomes crazy for a while, it’s very hard to know what parenting is about!"

Whilst reflecting on his younger years, Brian explained that his mother was given electric shock treatment upon suffering a "nervous breakdown" and his oldest sister ended up taking him in where they lived in relative poverty.

He said: "After my mother’s massive nervous breakdown, she was given electric shock treatment. A lot of her long-term memory was eviscerated so my sisters helped bring me up. My eldest sister was very good to me. She had two kids with her husband, and they lived in two rooms. It was very modest. She’d take me in and I’d sleep with the kids in one bed. We shared one toilet between five families."