Updated 11th March 2003

This Profile was provided by Eithne

Jess Weston

Character: Jess Weston

Parents: Phil and Anne-Marie

Appeared: November 7th 2001 Ė April 9th 2002

Played by: Ruth Abram

Age: late teens

Biography:

Jess is the mature, yet scheming daughter of Phil and Anne-Marie. She instantly didnít like Maggie, and didnít hide this fact, opting to try and break up her fatherís relationship.

At Christmas Jess visited her mother, but was late back from her break. Phil got worried and drove down to try and find her. This continued to put strain on her fatherís relationship.

Jess even teamed up with Nicola to try and bring down the new family.

Although she didnít like Maggie, Jess found friendís with Lucy and Craig. They got on very well together. When Jess left the village in April, after her mother turned up, everyone was sad to see her go.

About Ruth Abram: Ruth was one of the Soapstars winners who impressed the judges with her acting skills. She had no other acting credits before joining Emmerdale.

The Calder/Weston family - Jess is far right

Small profile from the former Official Site

ACTOR: Ruth Abram

FIRST APP: 07/11/200

PARENTS: Anne-Marie and Phil Weston.

Phil’s daughter has been his support for some time as he struggled to deal with her mother. Jess feels guilty about having abandoned her and resents Maggie for finally breaking apart her home. Having acted as a carer for her mother, Jess is mature beyond her years and her relationship with Phil is as an equal. Because of this, she further resents Maggie’s treating her as a child.

2001

Jess is less than pleased when she arrives with Phil and the Calders and discovers the cramped conditions of the Holiday Village chalet that is to be their new home. It is clear that she has no intention of trying to make the move an easy one but instead chooses to make her displeasure about the situation clear.

Her resentment towards Maggie causes a great deal of friction and this reaches a new low when Jess misses a family meal Maggie has prepared. She does however try to make an effort to get along with Lucy and Craig and soon things do not seem so bad between the three. However, bad news is in store for Jess when Phil refuses to let her see her mother over Christmas. But with a strange turn of events it is Maggie that manages to convince Phil to allow Jess to see Anne-Marie over Christmas. Will this help build bridges between herself and Maggie? Things become a little complicated as when she doesn’t return from Anne-Marie’s after the Christmas break Phil decides to come and collect her himself, much to Maggie’s annoyance. On her return to Emmerdale she finds herself having to defend her mother to Maggie and tensions are as high as ever. She does however find solace and an ally in Lucy, much to her surprise.

Her hate of Maggie is what provides a basis to her new friendship with Nicola Blackstock. Soon it is clear that with Nicola as an ally, Maggie’s life will be a difficult one.

 

The Winners of ITV's "Soapstars"

Meet The Soapstars of which Phil Weston was the head of the family

Phil Weston
Has just left his alcoholic wife to come and join Maggie in Emmerdale. The move has been very sudden and he finds himself dealing with a new and unexpected environment. He is awkward with Craig and Lucy, still trying to find his feet in the new family set-up.

Jess Weston
Phil’s daughter has been his support for some time as he struggled to deal with her mother. Jess feels guilty about having abandoned her and resents Maggie for finally breaking apart her home. Having acted as a carer for her mother, Jess is mature beyond her years and her relationship with Phil is as an equal. Because of this, she further resents Maggie’s treating her as a child. She thinks Lucy is spoiled and is impatient with Craig’s laziness.

Maggie Calder
Broke up with her husband some months ago. Her new job in the holiday village is her first since the break-up, and the first assertion of her new independence. Her guilt about the break-up of the marriage has fuelled her over-protectiveness of Lucy. Her relationship with the more mature Craig is less fraught.

Lucy Calder
Is a little spoiled, having been the object of her parents warring affections. She knows how to manipulate Maggie’s feelings of guilt, which infuriates her brother Craig. She is wary of Jess and distrustful of Phil.

Craig Calder
Has provided support to his mother during her break-up. He has a good relationship with her and wants her new life to work out. He has good will towards Phil and is trying to build a relationship with him. He is an appeaser and will do anything for a quiet life. He is Impressed by Jess’s maturity.

Daily Mirror: Soapstars was my dream ..but they just used me Aug 23 2002


RUTH WON A PART ON EMMERDALE BUT HASN'T WORKED SINCE

By Claire Donnelly


IT was the dream job she hoped would propel her to TV superstardom.

But just a year after winning the Soapstars talent contest, Ruth Abram's acting career is all but over.

Along with four other wannabes, she was chosen from 6,000 hopefuls to be part of a new family - the Westons and Calders - arriving in Emmerdale.

Yet after just six months of playing stroppy teenager Jess Weston on the ITV1 soap, the heartbroken youngster was told she was out of a job - and she hasn't worked since.

Ruth's last screen appearance was on April 9 and by then, all the Soapstars winners had been told they were getting the boot.

Ruth hasn't seen her fellow cast members since May - when the showbiz party invites dried up.

All that remains is a sense of bitterness and the belief that she and the other Soapstar winners were exploited by Yorkshire Television. "It's only afterwards you realise that you're being manipulated," claims Ruth, from Preston.

The 23-year-old also fears that appearing on ITV's Soapstars has destroyed her chances of becoming a serious actress.

"Winning was a double-edged sword. It boosted me to where I needed to be on Emmerdale but now I can't move on because of the baggage it's given me," she says.

Using the successful Popstars format, every minute of the hopefuls' emotional quest for fame was recorded for the hit Soapstars programme.

Ruth, who has a degree in performing arts, recalls: "A friend of mine was eliminated and I was in floods of tears.

"But it made good TV - that's what it's all about. I remember thinking I didn't want to be there, I wanted to get back to reality and go home.

"At one point, they told me to look younger, so I ended up taking off my make-up and wearing pigtails.

"By then, I was so close to making it, I would have done anything they asked."

After four months of auditions, she and her fellow hopefuls - Dee Whitehead, 43, Mark Jardine, 40, Elspeth Brodie, 19 and Jason Hain, 21 - won parts on Emmerdale.

But things were shaky from the first day, November 7, 2001. Ruth recalls: "That day, one newspaper's front page headline read: 'Soapstars - we'll make your lives hell.'

"It said the other actors didn't want us there and, prior to that, there had also been stories of strike action by the cast. My heart sank. But I could see where they were coming from. It's natural."

The fivesome were introduced to the cast in the Green Room but it soon became apparent that it would be far easier to spend their time with each other.

"There were lots of 'hellos' on our first day but I didn't get a chance to talk to some of the older cast members until the very end," says Ruth.

Despite sharing a dressing-room with Sheree Murphy - wife of Leeds footballer Harry Kewell - who plays Tricia Fisher, and Nicola Wheeler, who plays Nicola Blackstock, Ruth didn't get to be close friends with either.

"There wasn't a chance," she explains. "Most of the time you're just passing by. I got to know Sheree a little - a few of us used to go out drinking. But I'd look at her and think: 'Your life is so different to mine.'

"Sheree is the most glamorous cast member and had lovely cars and a gorgeous house... though I never went there."

While Sheree lived the showbiz lifestyle, Ruth was making the 90-minute journey to work by public transport, or cadging lifts off her father, Norman. But in January this year, Ruth's dream ended. "We all had a general appraisal before Christmas and I was told everything was fine. It was: 'If you're happy, we're happy.'

"Then two weeks after coming back, the producer asked to see me. It was agonising - he was so busy, I had to wait four days to meet him. When I walked in, he said he was very sorry but they were going to write my character out.

"I was gobsmacked. He kept saying it was no reflection on me, they just couldn't take the character further.

"I was wondering what I'd done wrong. It would have been different if all the Soapstars had gone but the others still had jobs then.

"I was crying my eyes out. I wanted to get out of there but I had to work on. I went to the Green Room and cried and cried - then I was expected to go out and start filming.

"Not only was I trying to come to terms with losing my job, I was having to do it in the public eye. I told the other cast members gradually and they were all shocked. They were telling me not to worry but it felt like the end."

A few weeks later, at a fans' dinner in Leeds, Ruth hit rock bottom. "I didn't want to be there," she admits. "I didn't want to be showing myself off. I felt embarrassed.

"The last day of filming was very emotional, all the hopes the programme had given me had ended. It was suddenly over and it was up to me to make my own way."

Since leaving in March, Ruth has struggled to find work. And there have been no invitations from her old co-stars.

"The last time I saw Sheree and the others was at the Soap Awards in May.

"Us Soapstars were meant to meeting up at some point but they have their own lives, I suppose.

"The day after I finished I sat at my parents' home and thought, what now? Suddenly my diary was empty. I had an agent in London and had the odd interview but that was it."

Ruth believes the way she was portrayed in Soapstars has made people reluctant to hire her.

"The show wanted a fairytale story and got it. They had me down as Ruth Abram, who went to university then on the dole.

"They ignored the fact that I had a degree in performing arts. I became typecast and no one wants to see differently.

"But you learn from experiences. I've learnt that things can go wrong."

Click here for Jess Weston Click Here for Phil Weston Click here for Craig Calder Click here for Maggie Calder Click here for Lucy Calder

Jess

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