So Precious: Judi Shekoni on Making It in America
By Jason Grant
Judi Shekoni, who EastEnders fans know as Paul Trueman's erstwhile
girlfriend Precious, was always determined to make it in the
After a successful modeling and acting career in the U.K., she is
now a visible and respected British television personality in America.
She grew up in a close-knit family in Manchester and her modeling
career started when she was 15. She has appeared in Elle,
Cosmopolitan, GQ and other publications.
Under the mentorship of writer/actor Kwame Kwei-Armah, she landed
an agent and within a short time was appearing in commercials and pop
She continued to work hard on her acting craft, and was hired for
roles in popular English television shows including Casualty, Time
Gentlemen Please and Fat Friends.
Judi also appeared as a "Bond Girl" in the 1999 feature film The
World Is Not Enough.
One day her agent called her for a casting call on EastEnders,
and she arrived with more than 30 other hopefuls. She recalls
purposely dressing down for the audition where she was asked to go
through a series of improvised scenes. Judi impressed and was cast in
the role of Precious.
Millions of EastEnders fans watched the saga of the glamourous
wife of gangland kingpin Angel, played by real-life disc jockey
Goldie, forced to move into Albert Square's Abercom B&B while waiting
for his trial.
Under the protective eye of bad boy Paul Trueman who eventually
falls for her charms.
According to the plot, Precious and Paul plan a life together as
she refuses to provide an alibi for Angel in court, thus ensuring his
conviction. However, the jury find him not guilty and that spells
disaster for the couple. They try to get away, but Angel and his
henchmen catch up with Precious. She is last seen leaving with them in
his car to an uncertain fate.
Paul is devastated but relieved that he and his father are still
alive. The episodes have just aired on PBS stations across America,
and are amongs the most compelling drama in the show's 23 years.
Shekoni has high praise for the actors she worked with on
EastEnders and thoroughly enjoyed her time in Albert Square.
She also proved a natural television host and appeared on Eye TV
and Big Breakfast.
Judi decided to move permanently to America to further her career
first in New York and later in Los Angeles, where she is currently
based. She has made appearances in King of Queens, Navy NCIS, Brothers
& Sisters and has recently finished shooting a new series called When
Women Ruled the World.
She knows the true benefit of mentorship from her own experience
and decided to launch a company called MakeitAmerica.com. It is
dedicated to helping actors and artists new to Hollywood, manage and
strategically plan their careers. She has proved with hard work,
determination and talent anything is achievable.
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