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Karin Ridgers from VeggieVision TV picks her favourite Essex things

PUBLISHED: 21:11 24 February 2014 | UPDATED: 21:11 24 February 2014

EXG FEB 14 FIVE THINGS

EXG FEB 14 FIVE THINGS

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In Profile

Karin Ridgers

Karin Ridgers is so excited that she just came third in the Veg fest Awards for Best Individual Achievement of the Decade. Sir Paul McCartney came first. Karin is the founder of VeggieVision TV, the internet TV station, and has filmed with Brian May, Martin Clunes, Anthea Turner, Lorraine Chase, Matthew Wright, Rick Wakeman and Helen Chamberlain. Now living in ?? with her husband and son, Karin recently came third at the Veg Fest Awards for Best Individual Achievement of the Decade. Sir Paul McCartney came first.

My favourite Essex place to visit…

Hopefield Animal Sanctuary in Brentwood

I was introduced to the founders of Hopefield, Paula and Ernie Clark, five years ago. Passionate and dedicated to animals, they both sadly passed away a few years ago. I helped Paula and Ernie with their promotion and worked with them when they thought the land that the sanctuary is on was going to be sold. Their amazing work is being carried on and now passionate fellow vegan and animal lover Leona Lewis is a patron and brings support and awareness to the animals they have saved.

My favourite Essex restaurant

Linden House, Stansted

As a vegan, things can be a challenge when we eat out. We frequently head to London, Brighton or Edgeware where there is more choice. However, we were really impressed with Linden House, a five-star restaurant with rooms based at Stansted. The rooms are a very high standard and the touches of free organic bottled mineral water, organic toiletries and gorgeous fluffy towels left us feeling relaxed and pampered.

My favourite Essex theatre

Brentwood Theatre

I always feel as though I am coming home when I visit The Brentwood Theatre. I started my acting career at this charity studio theatre and organised a comedy night there too. The manager, Mark Reed, is a powerhouse of Brentwood and works tirelessly. He is now the deputy mayor too and this is well deserved. There are super productions from both amateur and professional companies and it is well worth heading over there for a great night out.

My favourite Essex memory

Billericay School Reunion

I remember walking out of the gates as I left Billericay School and thinking, ‘give me 10 years and I will come back as the confident person I always wanted to be’. I forgot all about this until nine years later and then decided to organise two reunions. They were great successes and the events were turned into a documentary for Channel 5. As this was organised before we had emails, let alone Facebook, most people hadn’t seen each other or been in contact for up to 15 years.

My favourite Essex fact

Our county’s diversity

We have such a mix of people in Essex and I am very proud of being an ‘Essex girl’. I love being a regular on BBC Essex too – I have heard that it is the most listened to non commercial radio station in the UK. We survived the white stiletto shoe jokes, who knows where they even came from, and we have stunning countryside, vibrant towns, pretty villages and bustling town centres to be proud of. Lots of amazing people have come from Essex such as fellow vegan Russell Brand, passionate chef Jamie Oliver, reality stars, actors, writers, leading business people and even our own hilarious TOWIE, which I love. I just wish I was in it too.

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