A Paralympian, panto dame, sport scientist and an eight-generation oyster man have been chosen to star in a calendar representing the best of Essex.

‘This is Essex’ campaign by Visit Essex aims to dispel the county’s stereotypes and showcase real stars, diverse landscapes and hidden gems.

Team GB wheelchair racer Anne Wafula-Strike MBE, from Harlow, is the latest person announced to become a campaign ambassador and appear in the 2020 calendar.

The British Paralympian was selected thanks to her work in the community and for her success in the sports world.

Following a call for talent from across the county, from entrepreneurs, performers to community heroes, VisitEssex have also selected three more ‘This is Essex’ representatives.

The Mercury Theatre’s longest-serving panto dame, Antony Stuart-Hicks, eight generation oyster man Tom Haward, and University of Essex sports scientist Dr Mike Rogers, will appear in the new calendar.

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Antony Stuart-Hicks, The Mercury Theatre's longest serving panto dame has also been chosen for the 'This is Essex' campaign

Councillor Mark Durham, Vice Chairman, Visit Essex, explains: “We were flooded with nominations by the people of Essex to take part in this campaign. The calendar is just the start and we are actively working to provide a role for each nominee. Anne is a fine example of the hardworking talent we have in our county.”

He continued: “We’re all aware of the Essex stereotype and it’s time we made a difference. We need people to take a second look at our diverse county. Essex is blessed with over 350 miles of coastline, top family attractions, thriving towns and villages, plus excellent universities; the people are pretty extraordinary too, we have so much to offer.”

The ‘This is Essex’ campaign is focused on bringing visitors from London and the rest of the home counties to the region by challenging perceptions of Essex as a place to visit, work, live and invest.

Images from the campaign will also be featured in a pop-up gallery which is expected to tour the county and be officially unveiled in London.

‘This is Essex’ is still looking for ambassadors to join their campaign. If you or someone you know thinks they should be nominated, email hilary@wearebigwavepr.co.uk

To discover more about Visit Essex, please view www.visitessex.com