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Jessica-Jane Clement - The Sexy Swindler

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“If it is too good to be true, then it probably is”, are the final words of wisdom to leave the lips from the BBC’s The Real Hustle team.

 
A team consisting of Paul Wilson, the con artist, Alex Conran, the confidence trickster and Jessica - Jane Clement the Sexy Swindler. Written by Alex Conran and Paul Wilson, who are both students of stage magic, indeed Wilson professes to have been a professional scam artist. With their skill set, and the talent and beauty of Jessica - Jane Clement, who is equally as cunning as her male colleagues, The Real Hustle is a joy to watch  
 
The Real Hustle is an intriguing and absorbing show that swindles members of the public and businesses out of their hard-earned cash. All marvellously captured with the aid of carefully placed hidden cameras.  The “cons” range from simple pick pocketing to well execution and intelligent ‘long firm’ style hustles. After each scenario, one of the team will explain how the deed was done, making the viewer think, it looks so easy.  But it isn’t because it takes planning, timing and a lot of bottle to pull it off a scam.

Not only does the charisma and confidence of The Real Hustle team make the show worthy viewing, so does the format of the show. Which is a combination of a Sixties espionage flick and Modern day surveillance heist movie; A Man Called Flint meets The Score. These elements, along with the claim narration and the funky background music, give the show a feel good factor, even though the undertones are highly deviant.   

If the scams were for real, not for a TV show, then the team would be counting their ill-gotten gains in-between the laughter and the cocktails, perhaps in a five star hotel suite, draped in designer clothes, as they admire their sweet reflection in the mirror. The sweetest reflection of them all being that of Jessica - Jane Clement.

Jessica is simply a beautiful young lady from Sheffield; who just adds that extra sparkle to The Real Hustle. Unlike her co-presenters, Jessica is a total novice to the art of defrauding. Yet she learned fast from her mentors, as she effortlessly switches from the damsel in distress to the femme fatale with grace and charm in the pursuit of a con.
 
Due to her beautiful looks, and well-toned body, Jessica - Jane Clement has received a great deal of press attention and modelling contracts.  Being a former model Jessica is no stranger to this sort of publicity. For sure these features are highly pleasing to the eye, yet there is very little focus on what makes this woman tick.  At ZANI, we ask the question who is the real Jessica - Jane Clement and what really goes on behind the closed doors of The Real Hustle? 

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So whilst waiting for Jessica - Jane Clement at a secret location, a mysterious woman covering her face with a head scarf whisks pass me. I quietly say “Jessica”, the woman slowly turns rounds, pulls away the head scarf to reveal that cheeky smile that has made so many people part with their cash.  She gives me a knowing wink, as I count the cash in my wallet, to make sure I do not fall foul to this crafty yet striking woman.

ZANI - The BBC have just screened the seventh Series of the show, are you pleased with the end results?
 
Jessica - Jane Clement - Yes I am, the last series was the best series we have ever done.

ZANI – Why is that?

Jessica - Jane Clement – It’s a mixture of everything. We were more confidence and daring; we weren’t saying this is going the best series we have ever done. It just happened and it felt so natural.

ZANI - Before we talk about you, let us talk about the show. I understand that your all time favourite swindle is when all three members of the series, walked out with a necklace worth £750.00. Could you quickly name another of your favourite scams?

Jessica - Jane Clement – The brass ring, where I go into a saloon. I give the staff my coat, get my nails done, have a massage and get my hair done. After all this pampering, I ask for my bag to pay, and they cannot find it anywhere.  So I leave them a brass ring, telling them it’s my wedding ring. I tell them I have to go, and pick my mum up, so can they please find my handbag. I tell them I am going to be back in ten minutes. The handbag is actually in a concealed pocket.  I like the scam where I got to slap Alex.

ZANI – Why is that?

Jessica - Jane Clement – Because I got to slap Alex, and I loved all the scams we have done in Las Vegas.

ZANI – The Real Hustle does Vegas, was an enjoyable series.

Jessica - Jane Clement – I think that series gave us more confidence.

ZANI – Three people from the UK took on the capital of The Hustle and won.

Jessica - Jane Clement – I loved it there, I want to go back again, and I would love to get married there. I want to live there. 

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ZANI – Well I don’t know about living there, but it is an interesting city only been once mind you. Before you got into modelling, acting and The Hustle, you studied Psychology and Acting.  I bet these subjects have put you in good stead for the series?

Jessica - Jane Clement – Yes they did, I love reading people. I’ve got good at anticipating what people are going to do next. That it what I bring to the show, the concept of Psychology.

ZANI – Nice thing to bring to the table. How many months preparation do you do on the scams?
 
Jessica - Jane Clement – We don’t, we used to rehearse. We don’t anymore, we went through a stage, where we would rehearse for weeks on end, from nine in the morning to six in the evening. But we realise how many times we rehearsed, we never knew what was going to happen next. Now we find out what the scam is, read through it and just go out and do it. No preparation, it is spontaneous.

ZANI – Yeah, you have to keep something back for the fight.

Jessica - Jane Clement – Too right, you have to keep it fresh.

ZANI – As you’ve been doing The Real Hustle for over three years, would you feel confidence enough with the skills that you’ve have learnt you could live the life of a grifter and would you want to?
 
Jessica - Jane Clement – I could definitely make a living out of it. 

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ZANI – Would you like to?

Jessica - Jane Clement – Ha, maybe, no I get enough pleasure with my job, knowing I can give the money back at the end.

ZANI - Without sounding moralist, because ZANI is not, would say that The Real Hustle is perhaps showing the glamorous side of conning? As many people have lost every thing due to a Hustle.  

Jessica - Jane Clement – No, I think conning is a very sexy thing. We are not glamorous conning, we are doing a service to the public. We are saying this goes on, so watch out for it. But when you think of Ocean’s Eleven, you think it is a sexy lifestyle.

Conning is a skill and a talent that not everyone can do. Please remember it is a factual entertainment show and people do forget that.
 
ZANI – I agree it is certainly a skill. How did you pass the audition for The Real Hustle?
 
Jessica - Jane Clement – For a start I wasn’t really told too much about what the show was about. I just walked into the room, which pretended there was a bar . There was Alex and both executives sitting at the bar, one of the executive came up to me and said you are going to have to get a drink out of Alex.

All the other girls at the audition were flittering, but I don’t do that. I went up to bar, completely ignored  Alex, and I asked the guy who was playing the barman, “How much is a large glass of wine” “£4.00”, “How much is a small one”, “£2.50”, “OK, I could have a water then” I replied, then Alex felt obliged to get me a drink, and he did. Even though I completely ignored him, but I made sure he could hear me.

ZANI – That is cool, I like it.  But has the show toyed with the idea with perhaps getting some real life guest hustlers on the show, maybe The Real Hustle meets the Masters.

Jessica - Jane Clement – We had Frank Abagnale (Catch Me If You Can) on the show for an interview, but not for a scam.  But sadly I didn’t get to meet him.

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ZANI – I remember that, but it would be great, even though I suppose few of the great con artists maybe in prison.  

Jessica - Jane Clement – The producers would be a bit funny about that, because then we would perhaps glamorising conning. It’s a good concept though, I will put to the boys when I see them next.  

ZANI – What about off shoots with The Real Hustle, such as books, DVD’s and seminars?

Jessica - Jane Clement – We have a bar bet DVD out, The bar bets are the scams we do in pubs to win a little money, and the odd drink. It is something for more people to get involved in, just for a bit fun, as opposed to just watching something. There are over thirty bar bets on the DVD. We worked out if you learnt three of them on a night out, it would pay for the DVD, which is £9.99

ZANI – Nice plug Jessica, like it. What about a live show?

Jessica - Jane Clement – We are in talks but I can’t say anything at this moment in time.

ZANI – A shroud of mystery, I wouldn’t expect anything else from The Real Hustle.

I know you have dyed your hair, so you will not be instantly recognised. But what I can’t understand, is how come you Paul and Alex have not been recognised in the UK?

Jessica - Jane Clement –. When we are hustling in the street, you keep going until you find someone who does not recognize us.  
 
Concerning the more elaborate scams, we have a great team of researchers, to pin point people who don’t watch the show.  What we do, we get people to set up their friends. We get all the details from their friends, just to make sure they haven’t seen The Real Hustle before; because it is would be such a waste of money. But I agree it is a problem.

ZANI – Has any one ever cracked on you after you have scammed them?
 
Jessica - Jane Clement –I have had one women call me a bitch, and an old woman throw a sausage at me.  
 
ZANI – That’s not too bad, I suppose it being scammed by a celebrity is OK.

Jessica - Jane Clement – Please, I do not consider myself a celebrity or that famous.

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ZANI –  I know, sorry wrong choice of words. That is why I wanted to do an interview with you, because you are into your work, not obsessed with the celebrity. Like you’re fascinated with the human mind?   

Jessica - Jane Clement – I love the way humans conform with each other, for instance I love when people queue at bus stops, and there is no sign saying you must queue.  One person will stand there, and then another person stands behind, I love the way humans do that. If you put on a policemen’s uniform, you feel that you have authority, even if you are not a policeman.

ZANI - That makes me think of The Stanford prison experiment, where volunteers donned the role of prisoners and inmates. I think they had to call the experiment off, after three days because it got of hand. Because those in the position of power, abused their power, which is the same in real life.

Jessica - Jane Clement – I studied The Stanford prison experiment, for A Level Psychology, and The Milgram experiment. You know the one, where a person in authority tells the volunteer to up electric shock to the participant. The participant is screaming in pain, as they up the voltage. As we know it is fake, but the volunteer keeps on, doing what he or she is told.

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ZANI – Like the saying goes they were “only obeying orders”. After The Real Hustle or even during, are there any other projects you would like to do?

Jessica - Jane Clement – I would love to present documentaries.

ZANI – On what subject matter?

Jessica - Jane Clement – On how children are growing up a lot younger these days. I would like to research what they are influenced by, and whether it is the media, or whether it is a physical thing that children are actually developing younger. I would like to go to schools, and ask the children what they want to be when they grow up and compare it to the years before.

We are living in the X – Factor generation, where people are inspiring to be celebrities, and I find that pretty scary.  We will not have any doctors left, if everybody just wants to be famous.  

ZANI – Hmm, interesting concept and very current. I personally despise the fact that a person who comes fourth place in a contest from a shit reality TV show, (and they are all shit to me) -sorry to swear- thinks that appearing in NUTS or ZOO magazine is some form of achievement. Sorry I just hate that vanity, it really winds me up.

Jessica - Jane Clement – I do appear in these magazines because the readers are a large percentage of the audience for the show. I'm grateful they help to publicise the show. But fame, shoots, PA's and interviews are all by-products of hard work I have put in over the years. I guess some people just want to be adored.

ZANI – Seriously Jessica, these publications are vastly popular, and real talented people that ply their trade, like musicians, actors and writers are being over looked.  

Jessica - Jane Clement – But that is why you are doing your own thing, and I hope ZANI grows.  

ZANI - We could spend hours drinking Peroni putting the world to right. OK, you have done some acting, but staying with the same subject matter. You played a WAG in Sky’s Dream Time.  Who did you base your WAG on?

Jessica - Jane Clement – When I first stared in Dream Time, the concept of WAG’s was quiet a new concept, so I didn’t really base it on anyone.   I wanted her to develop because she had a lot of layers. She was a bitch and a gold digger. I was only meant to be in the show for a few episodes, but they kept me in for two years and from that time, I developed a softer side to her character.

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ZANI –You should get back into acting, you would make a great Femme Fatale.

Jessica - Jane Clement – Thank you, I’ve been acting since I was 15, and without being big headed I have learnt a lot of improvisation and listening skills from The Real Hustle

ZANI – All the skills you need to be a good actor.

Jessica - Jane Clement - I might focus on my acting in the future, but I really want to focus on my presenting. I do a lot of writing, I find writing a good outlet.  

ZANI - Pleased to hear it.  Off the cuff question, are you really obsessed with Cats?

Jessica - Jane Clement – I love Cats.

ZANI – So playing Catwoman in Batman, would be your dream part?

Jessica - Jane Clement – I would like to play Catwoman for sure, but my dream part would to play somebody who is fucked up, a drug addict.

ZANI - Like Maggie Gyllenhaal in SherryBaby, that is a good study of decline into drug abuse. Why do you want to play someone that is fucked up?

Jessica - Jane Clement – Because I am not.

ZANI – That is a matter of opinion. (laughing)

Jessica - Jane Clement – You cheeky sod.  But I am interested in the dark side of the human mind. That is what I love about acting, because you get it to someone’s mind and sees what makes them tick.  It might mess me up, and take the character home. The research would be immense, but like I said I want to focus on my presenting at this moment in time.

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ZANI – Fair enough so who is the real Jessica - Jane Clement?

Jessica - Jane Clement - I have loads of different personalities I might be completely different person tomorrow.

ZANI – “I am million different people from one day to the next” as the song goes, so how do your personalities differ?  

Jessica - Jane Clement – One day I will be quite composed, other days I cannot stop laughing or talking.  Perhaps really girlie one day, you can’t really pinpoint me.

ZANI – Nice way to be, and thank for your time it’s been a pleasure

Jessica - Jane Clement – The pleasure was all mine.  

One thing is for certain, Jessica - Jane Clement is a beautiful busy young lady, filled with ambition. She is far from ruthless, she is highly intelligent, articulate, thoughtful, conscientious and a complex person with a keen interest of the dark side of man.

Jessica - Jane Clement has learned fast how to play the “Fame Game”. She is a survivor and she will go far. Jessica is intelligent enough to know how to use her looks and bubbly personality in the field of PR, because the more established you are, the more career choices you get.

Jessica is no hurry to leave The Real Hustle, and why should she? She is having a ball and isn’t that what it is all about? Yet maybe in the next twelve months, she may branch out into other fields. Jessica seems adamant that she would like to explore her presenting skills, yet at ZANI we love to see her expand further as actress.

As we say our goodbyes and the mysterious woman covered in the headscarf fades off into the night. I feel somewhat relieved that I had not fallen foul to one of her swindles, then I am presented the bar bill, I knew it was too good to be true.

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© Words – Matteo Sedazzari/ ZANI Ltd


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