Hornchurch girl Ruby Cooke reflects on her third glamorous week as the Face of Essex - starring McFly, Jason Donovan and Chris Drake

Ruby Cooke’s scrapbook must be fit to burst. This week the Face of Essex hooked up with pop-rockers McFly, old-time Neighbours heartthrob Jason Donovan and a mystery musician – and still found time to open a shop.

The 20-year-old kicked off her week with a backstage pass to McFly’s Hammersmith Apollo gig. “The McFly concert was great – they put on a really good show,” she told the Recorder. “We were just hanging out backstage – and then we went to the green room and Jason Donovan was there with his daughters.

“He kept breaking out into song but that’s obviously the way he is.”

Three weeks after being crowned Face of Essex by the Recorder and Uppercut Hair Group, Ruby is developing a taste for the VIP life. “It’s still a shock when you get to meet people, but it’s brilliant not having to queue,” she laughed.

The Hornchurch girl’s exact whereabouts on Sunday afternoon remain a firmly-kept secret – but the Recorder understands she was filming a music video with a big UK artist. “I like the artist and I like the song,” she hinted.


You may also want to watch:


And the Face of Essex is a music video veteran these days – she filmed another one in Shoreditch with Professor Green last week.

So how does the pop world compare with regular acting work?

Most Read

“It’s all great,” she said. “It’s not like work. Everyone’s just having a good time.”

In between regular visits to the Uppercut hair salon to keep herself looking good, Ruby officially opened a children’s designer boutique in Ingatestone, Essex on Saturday – with a celebrity, of course. The Only Way Is Essex (Towie)’s Chris Drake turned up to keep her company while she cut the ribbon at Loo Loo’s.

But it’s not all free champagne and cupcakes – Ruby is keeping in shape with regular gym visits.

“I’m hopefully doing a Race for Life this time next month so I need to start training for that,” she revealed. “It’s only 5k but when you haven’t been to the gym for a little while...”

You can keep track of Ruby’s progress by picking up the Recorder each week.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter