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Jennifer Lesley Ellison (born 30 May 1983, LiverpoolEngland) is an Englishactressglamour modeltelevision personalitydancer and singer. Ellison is perhaps best known for playing Emily Shadwick in the television soap operaBrookside until 2003, and as Meg Giry in the 2004 film adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera.

Early career


Ellison studied dance from the age of three, first at a dance school in Liverpool, then later at the Elizabeth Hill School of Dancing in St. Helens. She has achieved examination passes with the Royal Academy of Dance and appeared on instructional videos for the academy. She has also taken examinations with theInternational Dance Teachers Association and won Ballet and Modern Dance titles at the IDTA Theatre Dance Championships in 1996 and 1997, and in addition was awarded the Carl Alan Award for ballet in 1998. Choosing to pursue a professional career in dance, she successfully auditioned for the Royal Ballet Lower School, but was asked to leave due to her large bust which ruined her chances for classical ballet.[1] She left dance to pursue acting.


From 1998 to 2003, Ellison played Emily Shadwick in the soap opera Brookside. In 2003, Ellison appeared in the travel documentary Jennifer Ellison does Thailand and in 2004, she appeared on the reality television show Hell's Kitchen, which she then went on to win. In 2005, she appeared on the celebrity challenge show With a Little Help From My Friends. In 2012, Ellison was a contestant on Dancing On Ice and made it to the semi-final stages. She currently stars in the new Lifetime show called Dance Mums.


After success in television and men's magazines, Ellison pursued a pop music career. She released two pop rock singles before giving this venture up for acting and glamour modelling.[2] Her first single was "Baby I Don't Care", released in June 2003, which reached #6 in the UK Singles Chart.[3] The song was originally released by Transvision Vamp in 1989.[4] The following year in July, after being brought back into the public eye after winning Hell's Kitchen, Ellison released her second single, "Bye Bye Boy" - a song originally recorded by the Japanese singerNanase Aikawa - which reached #13 in the UK chart.[3][5]

Single discography

Year Song UK Singles Chart Irish Singles Chart
2003 "Baby I Don't Care" 6 8
2004 "Bye Bye Boy" 13 8



Ellison had a run in the London West End theatre version of the musical Chicago in 2004 at the Adelphi Theatre, and returned from 10 July to 9 August 2006 again playing the leading role of "Roxie Hart", this time at the Cambridge Theatre.[citation needed] Ellison was actually supposed to finish on 12 August, but was forced to pull out three days early due to a knee injury.[citation needed] Ellison subsequently toured Britain in Chicagofrom 25 September 2006 until 5 May 2007.[citation needed] On 1 October 2007, Ellison joined the cast of a revival of Boeing Boeing at the Comedy Theatre, London, playing the part of Gloria, an American TWA air stewardess.[citation needed]

On 5 December 2007, she featured in a 10th Anniversary Gala performance of Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre alongside a galaxy of stars[citation needed] and on 16 December 2007, she played "Angel" in Liverpool Nativity, a contemporary retelling of the Christmas story for BBC Three which was performed live from the streets of the city.[citation needed]

Ellison featured in the Liverpool Empire Theatre's pantomime Cinderella for 2008, opposite Cilla Black and Les Dennis.[citation needed]

She also played Beth in Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds at major arenas of the UK in June 2009.[6]

Ellison appeared in the July - October 2010 UK tour of the stage adaption of the film Calendar Girls.[7]

In 2010, she appeared at the Regent TheatreStoke-on-Trent, in their pantomime 'Robinson Crusoe'.[citation needed]

She is currently touring as 'Paulette' in the UK production of Legally Blonde The Musical.

In 2012 she appeared in Peter Pan at the Churchill Theatre Bromley alongside Gemma HuntAce Bhatti and Andrew Agnew.

From 18 February 2013 Jennifer joined Singin’ in the Rain at the Palace Theatre London. Ellison joined the cast to play silent movie screen siren, and owner of a voice never meant for the ‘talkies’, Lina Lamont.[8]

Show Role Additional Notes
Chicago Roxie Hart West End, UK Tour
Boeing Boeing Gloria Comedy Theatre, West End
Calendar Girls Celia UK Tour
Cinderella Cinderella Liverpool Empire Theatre
War of The Worlds Beth UK Arena Tour
Calendar Girls Cora UK Tour
Robinson Crusoe Polly Regent Theatre Stoke-on-Trent
Legally Blonde Paulette UK Tour
Peter Pan Peter Pan Churchill Theatre Bromley
Singin' in the Rain Lina Lamont Palace Theatre West End


Ellison made her international film debut as Meg Giry in the 2004 film version of The Phantom of the Opera. In spite of this being her debut in a Hollywood film, Ellison has yet to make another American film.[citation needed] She also starred in the English horror film The Cottage, which was released in the UK on 14 March 2008.[9]

Later television career

In spring 2007, Ellison appeared in the BBC reality TV show The Verdict, based on a fictional courtroom, alongside the likes of Jeffrey Archerand Sara Payne. That same year, she appeared as a judge on Dirty Dancing - Time of your Life a United States based reality television show for the Living TV network. By December of that year, Ellison began appearing as a guest panellist on the ITV daytime show Loose Women.[10]

Additionally, Ellison has also acted in episodes of the British television series The BriefHotel BabylonNew Street Law and The Commander. In September 2008, she appeared in a 2-hour long show, called Ghosthunting with Paul O'Grady & Friends, filmed in Sicily, with fellow Liverpudlians Paul O'GradyPhilip Olivier and Natasha Hamilton.[10]

Modelling and magazine appearances

Ellison has been featured in Maxim magazine's Girls of Maxim[11] gallery. She has appeared regularly in almost all of the mainstream British "lads' mags" over the last eight years, though her first appearance was in 1999 in a sexually suggestive shoot for FHM at the age of 16, under the heading "Jailbait".[citation needed] Ellison took over a contract with lingerie giant Ultimo for its "Young Attitude" line from fellow model Jordan barely two months after she had been signed on. Though Ultimo boss Michelle Mone had chosen Jordan for being "sexy, fun and outgoing," she later changed her mind, stating, "Jordan was just the wrong choice for [us]. Jennifer is a far better option and far classier."[12] In 2005, Ellison was voted world's sexiest blonde by readers of the UK magazine Nuts, beating model Victoria Silvstedt, who came second, and pop superstar Britney Spears, who was voted third.[citation needed] Ellison is also a regular in the yearly FHM "100 Sexiest Women in the World" feature. She first appeared in 2003 at number 60; then at number 29 in 2004; by 2005 she was at number 17; in 2006 she was number 31; in 2007, she fell to number 87; and in 2008 she did not feature. Her drop down the list over the last two years is largely attributable to her taking a break from modelling from late 2006 to early 2008.[citation needed] However, she has since returned to modelling. Ellison's most distinctive attributes are her large (32DD) breasts, which appear all the bigger due to her small frame. They are often commented upon in the tabloid press, although she has never posed fully topless.[13] She won the Rear of the Year award in 2008.

Other ventures

In 2006, Ellison released Jennifer Ellison's West End Workout, a fitness DVD which combined her love of dance with exercise routines.[citation needed]. In December 2011, she then released a second fitness DVD "Jennifer Ellison's Fat Blaster Workout".[14]

In 2007, Ellison was a judge in the British reality TV competition Dirty Dancing: The Time of Your Life.[15]

She is a winner of the Carl Alan Award for outstanding services to dance, an industry award voted for by dance professionals.[citation needed]

She took part in the 2012 TV series Dancing on Ice. Ellison and professional partner Daniel Whiston ended up in fourth place after being voted out in the semi-final.[16]

In May 2013 it was announced that Jennifer Ellison would join Radio City 96.7 to co-present a new Sunday morning Breakfast show alongside Drivetime Presenter Dave Kelly for an initial 5 weeks until she is due to give Birth

Personal life

Ellison's parents, Kevin May and Jane, split in 1986. She has a younger half-sister Jemma, and stepfather Peter.[17] She is estranged from her father.[18]

Ellison dated Liverpool F.C. and England footballer Steven Gerrard from 2001 to 2002.[19]

Ellison and boxer Robbie Tickle started dating in May 2008 and got engaged on holiday in the Maldives in October that year.[20] They married in Mauritius on 10 October 2009.[21] On 4 February 2010, Ellison gave birth to a baby boy named Bobby via caesarean section at Liverpool Women's Hospital.[22]

On 19 March 2013 announced she was 5 months pregnant with her second child - She said: 'I didn't even know I was pregnant until four weeks ago, and I'm almost five months now. I can't believe I'm having another baby in July - it's been a massive shock.' She had previously been told by doctors that cysts on her ovaries meant it was unlikely she would ever have another child [23]

On 9 July 2013 Jennifer gave birth to a baby boy named Harry Tickle.

On 1 July 2014 Jennifer announced she was 6 months pregnant with her third child. On 26 September 2014 Jennifer gave birth to a baby boy named Charlie Tickle.