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Photo: Sadie Dayton

Marblehead native Jenny Johnson basks in the glow of  local TV stardom.

Jenny Johnson looks like a movie star and talks like the girl next door-a winning combination that draws viewers in as she guides them through the gorgeous, the green, the simple, and the sensational subjects of “New England Dream House.” Hosting the NECN show is the latest feather in the cap of the Marblehead native.

In 2005, Johnson became an associate producer at NECN, then stepped in front of the camera in 2007 with the “Jenny Cam” segment of “TV Diner.” NECN belongs to Comcast, which also owns the sports channel CSN. Johnson, a lifestyle reporter at both, asks Celtics players for their restaurant recommendations, tours their homes, and interviews their families. She also interviews movie stars like Brooke Shields and Brendan Fraser. Becoming the host of “Dream House” in July of 2009 was a logical step for the rising star.

Now a Bostonian, Johnson returns to her favorite haunts as often as possible. “When I can roll down the window and get the smell of the ocean, I feel so lucky to have family here. I go for a [Marblehead] Neck run and think that going home is like going to a vacation house.”

She also says that she loves to walk in Old Town, in Manchester-by-the-Sea, and along Gloucester Harbor, adding “All these beach towns are so quaint, so different.” Hosting “Dream House” has given her a newfound appreciation for contemporary styling and a neutral palette. “I have seen incredible homes; there is so much talent in the design community,” she marvels, but adds that while North Shore real estate can be pricey, she hopes to buy here some day. “No matter where life takes me, I have to be close to the ocean.” -Regina Cole