Some of the small screen's best loved faces turned out to wish the England rugby team bon voyage at the weekend, ahead of the rugby world cup which begins in France this week. Former EastEnder Jessie Wallace, Lancashire actress Jane Horrocks and Rome star Camilla Rutherford were among the celebrities descending on London's Regent's Park for the 02 Scrum In The Park event.

"As a squad we are all looking forward to it," said captain Phil Vickery ahead of Sunday's family day out. "It's a great chance for us to meet the fans in a public setting the day before we fly to France." Those attending were able to write their messages of support on the official Rugby Fan Bus and get taken through their paces by England players, including Jonny Wilkinson, at five interactive skills stations.

Not everyone was dressed for a kick-around, however. Jessie was elegant in a stylish black dress and matching heels. The Londoner, who turns 36 this month, has not only transformed her wardrobe since leaving the hit soap but her career, too. Diverse roles have been flooding in for Jessie who recently played music hall queen Miss Marie Lloyd. Next up the mum of one is off to South Africa to join the ITV cast of Wild At Heart for the third series, to be screened early next year.

She's set to play Essex girl Amy Kriel who is unimpressed by the dusty reality of safari life and longs for the bright lights of home - until she forms a bond with Amanda Holden's character Sarah. "I'm so excited about filming with such a lovely cast and I can't wait to get started," she says. "Filming in South Africa with its variety of wild animals will be a whole new experience for me and the role of Amy is like nothing I have played before."

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Former soap star Jessie is looking increasingly stylish these days as she hits new career heights. The mum of one joined fellow TV stars at the Scrum In The Park event on Sunday, ahead of filming on Wild At Heart in South AfricaPhoto: © Getty Images
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Lancashire lass Jane made it a family day out by taking along her two children with writer Nick Vivian, Dylan and Mollie Photo: © Getty Images
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Comedian Jennifer Saunders was also among the celebrities wishing England's rugby stars, including Jonny Wilkinson, good luck for the world cup in FrancePhoto: © Getty Images