From Brookie to Chiswick Via Hell’s Kitchen

Reality Bites Jennifer Ellison A Little Too Often

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While tempers have reached boiling point all around her, former Brookside star Jennifer Ellison has remained cool, calm and collected in the heat of Hell's Kitchen. Certainly an impressive feat however, when you consider that death threats and violence appear to be an everyday occurance in her life, you can understand why the wrath of Gordon Ramsay doesn’t cause her to cower.

21 year old Jennifer is engaged to Tony Richardson, a former sunbed salesman notorious for his links with Liverpool's gangland. Their volatile relationship has led to numerous public screaming matches even at their high profile £10,000 Caribbean-themed engagement party last year when the evening ended in a major bust up.

This is a far cry from the innocent Jennifer of seven years ago when she achieved widespread acclaim starring in the National Youth Ballet's Cinderella at the Royal Albert Hall which was directed by Wayne Sleep.

Then from ballet to Brookie, Jennifer went on to play the teenage tearaway Emily Shadwick and started dating Liverpool and England footballer Steven Gerrard.

During the five years she played Emily, the Shadwicks' house blew up, her dad died, her sister was raped, she was married at 16 and held hostage by drug dealers. A little far fetched perhaps, but bizarrely, Jennifer’s life with Richardson has involved a number of violent dramas, death threats and high-speed car chasers. After gun shots were fired at their luxury home in Croxteth Park, they moved to the safety of a new home in Chiswick.

Even after Richardson was subsequently attacked with a machete, Jennifer insisted, "I couldn't go on without Tony - he's my rock when I've been down and wondering whether it's all worth it. I'd go crackers if he wasn't with me. He comes with me everywhere."

Despite the end of her soap life and two flopped singles behind her, Jennifer has performed outstandingly in Hell's Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay describing her as "the best cook in the house.” Such praise has resulted in her been offered a job in a top London restaurant, somehow though it’s hard to see Jennifer settling for an apron.

June 8, 2004