Southend businesses have been thrust into the limelight recently, starring in cooking competitions, celebrity chefs' TV shows, and even national news.

The Echo looks back at some of Southend's most recent and upcoming TV appearances.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visits Old Leigh businesses

Echo: The Prime Minister was pictured at Osborne's with fisherman Paul Gilson and MP Anna Firth.The Prime Minister was pictured at Osborne's with fisherman Paul Gilson and MP Anna Firth. (Image: Millbank Creative)

When the Prime Minister visited Old Leigh last month, to celebrate the “incredible” discovery of rare shellfish, the town was abuzz with TV and radio news crews, including GB News.

Rishi Sunak visited the Old Foundry, where he spoke with councillors, residents and schoolchildren. He then went on to the Boatyard, where he was interviewed by GB News, LBC, and the Echo, among others.

Finally, he called in to Osborne Bros café with Home Secretary James Cleverly and Southend West MP Anna Firth, “to talk shellfish” with Leigh fisherman and town councillor Paul Gilson.

When asked how the Government will support Leigh’s rejuvenating fishing industry, the Mr Sunak told the Echo: “There is an incredible opportunity.

“If you think about the scale of the discovery and what it will mean for the community and local economy, it’s really fantastic.”

However, Osborne’s is set to make another TV appearance very soon.

“Roux Down the River” with Michel Roux

Echo: Owners Graham Osborne and Andrew Lawrence welcomed chef Michel Roux (centre) to Leigh. Owners Graham Osborne and Andrew Lawrence welcomed chef Michel Roux (centre) to Leigh. (Image: Food Network / Discovery Plus)

Osborne Bros café will serve as the backdrop for an episode of award-winning celebrity chef Michel Roux’s new show for the Food Network and Discovery Plus next month.

Michel Roux’s series will chronicle the food and “fascinating people” based along the River Thames, finishing up in Leigh for the final episode.

Manager Sally Osborne said: “We were lucky enough to be part of his journey down the Thames. It was a positive experience to be able to share our story.”

Osborne’s overlooks the estuary, making it a prime filming location.

“We’ve had many film crews come here over the years,” Sally added.

“We’ve welcomed the Hairy Bikers, Jamie Oliver, and Rick Stein, who’ve used our business as a backdrop. You can’t get a better view than ours.”

Come Dine With Me: The Professionals

Echo: All smiles - Jim and Sam are excited for their TV appearance.All smiles - Jim and Sam are excited for their TV appearance. (Image: Jim Anderson)

Three Southend businesses are set to take centre stage in an upcoming episode of a hit Channel 4 show.

The OakTree restaurant in Leigh Road, Leigh, as well as Stoked Vegan BBQ in Westcliff and the Royal Hotel in Southend, will feature in a special vegan-themed episode of Come Dine With Me: The Professionals.

Owner Jim Anderson, 43, said: “The experience was absolutely incredible. You can’t get better exposure for our business than that.

“The show will be aired to Channel 4 and then Netflix, where it could be watched by millions. That does keep you up at night.”

“It was a great opportunity to showcase Essex and the food we have to offer.”

The episode is set to air on Channel 4 on April 25.

Celebrity Antiques Road Trip with Gemma Collins

Echo: Gemma Collins visited Sally Tyrie's shop in Westcliff.Gemma Collins visited Sally Tyrie's shop in Westcliff. (Image: Ethan Banks)

Former “The Only Way is Essex” star Gemma Collins and BBC Radio 1 DJ Melvin Odoom visited antiques shops in Leigh and Westcliff for the hit BBC show Celebrity Antiques Road Trip last summer.

The popular show sees antiques experts and celebrities race around the UK on the hunt for rare items, competing to make the most money at auction.

Gemma Collins called in on Sally’s Out of Curiosity on London Road, Westcliff, owned by owned by Sally Tyrie.

Sally said: “Antiques Road Trip always seem to pick on this shop. I’ve had Sophie Ellis-Bextor, I’ve had numerous experts, and I’ve had Danny Dyer.

“I think they like the shop’s quirkiness, quality, and the fact we have anything a little bit unusual.”