The Only Way is Essex: Jessica Wright and Ricky Rayment won’t be the new Mark Wright and Lauren Goodger……so they say!
In their first interview as a couple, Jessica Wright and Ricky Rayment talk about keeping their romance private and not being ‘the new Lauren and Mark’.
After a recent crop of hot new couples on The Only Way Is Essex, Jessica Wright and Ricky Rayment have stepped into the limelight with their romance.
But although it seems the lovebirds of Essex – Sam Faiers and Joey Essex and Lydia Bright and Tom Kilbey – are all proud to flaunt their new relationships, Jessica says she’ll be holding back. The star, who started dating Ricky in April, but only branded their romance “official” when they shared a romantic glass of champagne in the TOWIE Marbella special last month, says: “We’re not interested in being the show’s biggest love story. We want to keep parts of our relationship private.”
And Jessica – whose brother Mark, 25, split with his fiancée Lauren Goodger, also 25, last August after a decade together – says she’s finally stepping out of his shadow. Jess laughs: “We’re not the new Mark and Lauren. The ‘Mark and Lauren’ thing is boring.”
Last summer, Jessica, 26, split from businessman Jonathan Holmes after four years. He wasn’t on the show and she never spoke about the relationship. She then enjoyed a brief romance with her co-star Joey Essex, who is now with Sam Faiers, last December. But Jess – who’s also previously been linked to her brother Mark’s best mate and widower of Jade Goody, Jack Tweed, 25 – insists her new 21-year-old man is different from any of her past romances. She giggles: “Ricky and I are just so compatible and he’s very sensitive.”
Ricky, who’s been linked with co-stars Cara Kilbey, Lauren Goodger and Lydia Bright insists he only had eyes for Jess. He says: “I’ve been friends with Lydia for years and it was only a few dates with Cara. I was never trying to go after Lauren. Don’t go there! Jess was always the TOWIE girl I fancied the most!”
Feisty Jessica fell out with Lauren Goodger last February, after they reportedly had a row in the back of a taxi, which turned violent. Days later, Jess was sporting a bald patch after it was alleged Lauren had pulled her hair, while Lauren had a cut lip and scratches.
And after Lauren returned to the show in May following a brief suspension due to a row with producers, Jessica says the girls still kept their distance from each other. Jessica says: “Lauren and I still don’t speak. The break from the show must have given her time to think. She must have realised the show isn’t about one person.”
Last November, Mark left TOWIE to pursue solo projects, coming second in I’m A Celeb! a month later, then fronting ITV2’s Take Me Out: The Gossip. But although his new reality show, Mark Wright: Hollywood Nights, has been branded “cheesy” and “scripted,” Jess says he’ll bounce back, revealing: “TOWIE wasn’t an overnight success, so I’ve told Mark not to worry. He’s put so much of himself into the show, so it’s hard to hear criticism – he has been really panicky about the reaction to it.”
And Jessica reveals that, aside from her parents, Carol and “Big” Mark, Ricky also had to impress her brother Mark. She says: “Mark is so protective and sometimes forgets I’m older. He’s tried to put me off my previous boyfriends, but he couldn’t fault Ricky and gave him a massive thumbs up.”
Jessica is looking to pursue new projects, too, as she debuted the video for her new single Dance All Night earlier this month. The star – who started TOWIE in wannabe girlband Lola – says: “I’ve wanted to be a singer for a while, so I won’t be upset by negative comments. I’ve worked hard and I can sing. But when I watched the video, my dancing wasn’t as good as it could have been.”
And how will Ricky feel about being a pop star’s boyfriend? He laughs: “I’ll go on tour with her! I’d love it. She’s a great singer and she’s going to do amazingly.”
Jessica looks fab in the video and says she’s comfortable in her skin. The size 8-10 star – who had a breast enlargement in April, taking her from a 32C to a DD – says: “I’m really happy with my shape after my boob job. I have good and bad days, like any girl, and I can’t resist carbs when I’m hungover, but, on the whole, I’m happy.” n
This week’s Closer magazine is on sale now (Tuesday).