Star Interview: Jennifer Ellison

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Actress Jennifer Ellison seems to have been in the public consciousness for such a long time, it is hard to believe she is still only 30-years-old.

Currently starring as the Wicked Queen in the panto Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs at Milton Keynes Theatre, Jennifer started out on our TV screens at a young age and, over the years, has also landed several major stage roles.

Jennifer’s first big TV break came when she was 15 and won a role in Channel 4’s soap, Brookside, where she caught the public’s attention playing Emily Shadwick. She remained in the show until 2003.

She recalled: “I was a dancer. I was really into my dancing, training with the Royal Ballet School. Through my dancing I got an audition for Brookside and I was there for nine years. I didn’t know any different, I just grew up a lot younger; I had my own house at 17.

“The people on the show did become like a family and we went through a lot together.”

She made her film debut in 2004 as Meg Giry in an adaptation of The Phantom Of The Opera. And musicals proved to be close to her heart as, later in life, she also landed parts in stage shows such as Chicago, Legally Blonde and Singing In The Rain.

Jennifer said: “I love doing live theatre, I grew up doing that. Musicals are great if you love to sing and dance. But I love doing TV acting as well. I’m lucky I can do a TV job and a bit of theatre and something like panto.”

Jennifer is now appearing in panto alongside Star Wars and Willow star, Warwick Davis. But how does she feel about playing the part of villain?

She said: “As an actress, it is something you can really get your teeth into. In the scene where she gives Snow White the apple, the kids are really screaming. The audience does get properly involved and we have to be prepared for that. If you take it too seriously, you miss a lot of the audience interaction.”

Not only is Jennifer a busy actress, but she is also mum to two young boys, the youngest of which was born in July last year. She copes with a hectic theatre schedule with the help of her family.

She said: “I have a brilliant husband. My little boy has started pre-school now so it will start to get more difficult. I would like to do more TV next year, I would love to do a good drama.”

She is still remembered for making appearances as a celebrity contestant in Hell’s Kitchen (which she won) and Dancing On Ice (in which she cut her head with her skate while doing a scorpion kick).

She confessed to being surprised at doing better in Hell’s Kitchen than Dancing On Ice, and added: “I thought I would come nowhere in Hell’s Kitchen and win Dancing On Ice.

“But on those shows you can’t pay to get training that good, the level of expertise was amazing.”

Her appearance in Dancing on Ice will remain memorable for the way in which she carried on after sustaining the injury.

She said: “That was the training in me, doing the theatre side of things, the show must go on.”

Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs will run at Milton Keynes Theatre until Sunday, January 12.