“It’s lovely to be compared to Michelle – she’s beautiful!”
As sister-in-laws in one of reality TV’s most famous families, they are often spotted out together.
And the incredible similarities between Jess Wright and Michelle Keegan were highlighted recently as fans drew comparisons between their social media images. The snaps showed the close pals in similarly styled outfits and poses, while fans pointed out their matching flowing brunette hair, golden tans and slender bodies. One fan wrote on social media, “You and Michelle Keegan look identical”, while another added, “I did a second look! You look like Michelle, you both could be twins!”
And Jess, 35, tells Closer she finds the likeness flattering. She says, “It is lovely to be compared to Michelle and to have people say that we look very similar to one another. “Personally, I don’t really see it, but of course it’s a compliment. She’s beautiful. I suppose it’s refreshing to see something nice like that, as opposed to something negative.”
Since she began dating Mark in 2012, former Our Girl actress Michelle, 33, has been welcomed with open arms into the close-knit Wright family – who first made their name as the main family in TOWIE. She included Jess and younger sibling Natalya, 21, as her bridesmaids when she wed their brother in 2015, and now Jess is repaying the favour. The former TOWIE star is set to marry her fiancé William Lee-Kemp – who is a friend of Mark’s – in Mallorca in June.
Jess is still hoping to go ahead with her wedding, despite the pandemic, and says, “We have to wait until the travel restrictions are lifted, but I’m not worrying about it too much at the moment.
“It has been constant back and forth since we got engaged last year, really. I have got my three sisters-in-law, including Michelle, my sister and six best friends and four cousins as bridesmaids.”
Jess appeared on TOWIE in the original series in 2010, alongside her brother who was widely considered to be the star. But in 2016, Jess decided to leave the show following a turbulent two-year relationship with co-star Ricky Rayment, who admitted to sending other women flirty messages during their romance. Now happy with William, Jess says that despite lockdown causing tension between couples, it’s made their relationship stronger and has only confirmed that he really is The One. She says, “We’re best friends and we make each other laugh every day. We are so in sync and really supportive of each other, which is so important. I’ve never had a relationship like this before. I am so happy. We met through mutual friends and he is three years older than me. He is really mature for his age and I feel like we’re perfect for each other.”
Jess’ thoughts have already turned to babies and she hopes that Mark and Michelle will start a family at the same time. She says,
“I’m 35 now and I’m at that age, aren’t I? But hopefully we can get married first and then that will come after. It’ll be an amazing new era for the whole family when we all start having children, and it would be great if that happens so that all the kids can be best friends. I’ve always wanted a big family and I’ve always wanted to be a mum one day. I can’t wait – I’m excited for it!”
Looking back at her time on TOWIE,
Jess has fond memories of the show, but she says she feels better since leaving reality TV. “I needed to focus on me and my relationships off-camera and I felt like I wanted to try some new things,” says Jess, who has a degree in business and has been working with different brands, including her latest project with lingerie and swimwear brand Pour Moi. Filming was a big
commitment, but I really missed it when I left because of all the friends that I had made. I still speak to Sam and Billie Faiers, Ferne McCann, Danielle Armstrong, Bobby Norris, Gemma Collins and Arg – we’re always messaging.”
Jess if also feeling more confident externally. Before lockdown, she had a breast reduction to remove the implants she had done in 2011, which took her from her natural 32C to a 32DD. She has now gone back to her natural 32C cup. She says, “I am really glad that I had a breast reduction because I felt like nothing could ever fit my boobs and they were just too big. I feel so much better for it and even when I wear a wedding dress, I feel like they are going to be less ‘in your face’. I find it easier to wear bikinis now, so I’m so chuffed.”
On top of that, Jess – who insists she has never had any other surgeries or cosmetic procedures bar Botox – has been using lockdown to eat healthily and work out, especially as she models her own clothing collection. She says, “I did feel exposed when I did a shoot for my lingerie range, but I tried to work out as much as possible.
I’m a 35-year-old woman and I have to embrace my curves! But I’ve been doing loads of home workouts and also been going out on my bicycle. I did a 20k bike ride the other day and I felt really proud. The best way for me to keep motivated is to mix up my work out, whether it’s Pilates or a HIIT session, or Mark’s workout programme, Train Wright.”
Jessica is now aiming to keep up the exercise to feel confident for her Big Day, which she quietly hopes will still go ahead this summer. She smiles, “It would be nice to have some good news after the past year.” By Olivia Buxton
● The Jess Wright Edit for Pour Moi is out now. Shop online at www.pourmoi.co.uk
‘I’ve always wanted to be a mum, – I can’t wait!’