Martina Cole brands Essex stereotypes set by Gemma Collins and co ‘untrue’

Top crime writer Martina Cole is leading the charge against the perma-tanned, stiletto-wearing Essex girl stereotype set by Towie stars like Gemma Collins.

Martina, dubbed the Queen of Crime for her books including The Ladykiller, said: “I love the people, the history and, most of all, the many entrepreneurial and highly successful women of the county.

“The Essex stereotype is an untrue, outdated myth and needs to be banned.”

The Aveley-born author is just one of the figures fronting the new “This Is Essex” calendar which showcases the best of the county’s top achievers, stunning landscapes and hidden gems.

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Snubbing the likes of Joey Essex and The GC, who found fame on reality show Towie, nominations poured in for a raft of local heroes.

Rally driving ace Nabila Tejpar, Team GB Paralympian wheelchair racer Anne Wafula Strike and Michelin-starred chefs the Galvin Brothers all ­feature in the 2020 calendar.

Eighth generation oysterman Tom Haward and panto dame Anthony Stuart-Hicks also star.

Councillor Mark Durham, vice-chairman of calendar promoters Visit Essex, said: “We’re all aware of the Essex stereotype and it’s time for change.

“P need to take a second look at our diverse county. We have so much to offer.”

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