Star interview: Jennifer Ellison

Jennifer Ellison
Jennifer Ellison

ACTRESS Jennifer Ellison was just 12-years-old when she landed her dream job of playing Emily Shadwick in TV soap, Brookside.

Many years later and the series may have died a death, but 29-year-old Jennifer is still going strong, having remained in the showbiz world for nearly 20 years.

She has so many strings to her bow, including having appeared in hit touring shows such as Chicago and Calendar Girls, starring in the Hollywood film version of The Phantom of the Opera, keeping up a hectic modelling schedule and making appearances on shows such as Dancing on Ice.

Most recently she took on the role of Paulette (starring alongside singer Gareth Gates) in the Olivier award-winning musical, Legally Blonde, which will run at Milton Keynes Theatre until August 11.

Jennifer said: “This is one of the best roles in the musical, she goes on such a journey, the audience really warms to her and it is an amazing chance as an actress. She is really the underdog and the person people want to see succeed.”

It is hard to believe Jennifer has already spent almost two decades in the public eye.

She said; “I started dancing when I was three and I became national ballet champion. I did always love to act and I was approached to audition for Brookside, down the road from my house. Thousands went in for it. It was like a dream come true when I got the phone call. It felt strange when they said they were going to pay me as I never thought of it as a job. I was there for seven years.”

This year, Jennifer showed herself to be the ultimate professional when she injured her head by striking it with the blade of her boot when she was carrying out a kick during a routine for TV’s Dancing On Ice.

Blood started pouring from the wound but she managed to continue until the end of the routine.

“I felt I had been hurt,” she said. “But I didn’t want to stop. I was very well looked after though, it was just one of those things. Unfortunately it happened on TV.”

Being in the limelight has its down sides however, and Jennifer’s weight became fodder for the tabloid press after she gave birth to her baby, Bobby, two years ago.

She is now back in shape and has released her own Fat Blaster Workout DVD. But does she think there is too much pressure on celebrities to look perfect at all times?

She said: “There is such a huge industry around looking good and if you put yourself in that situation it is bound to happen. Magazines may focus more on people when they look a bit big and I think that can be a bad example to younger teenagers. I think we do need to get a bit more respect in the press.”

For tickets to Legally Blonde, call 0844 871 7652 or visit www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes (bkg fee).