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Interview: Abbey Clancy & Paul Sculfor | Virgin Media
Britain’s Next Top Model is back on Thursday 14th January at 9pm on Lifetime (CH 208) and Lifetime HD (CH 209) and it’s better than ever, with previous contestant and Strictly Come Dancing winner Abbey Clancy ruling the roost, alongside supermodel Paul Sculfor, fashion guru Hilary Alexander OBE and acclaimed photographer Nicky Johnston.
Proving that there’s more to modelling than flashing your best Blue Steel, 12 budding beauties take on gruelling weekly challenges in a bid to win a coveted modelling contract.
Before the next generation of Kate Mosses canter onto the catwalk, we sit down with head judges Abbey Clancy and Paul Sculfor to get all the gossip…
Virgin Media: So Abbey, how does it feel to be on the other side of the judging panel?
Abbey Clancy: “It’s weird! Obviously it’s where I started 10 years ago. I’ve been surprised by how tough I’ve been. I thought I would be softer with them. I’ve been in their position and I know what a big opportunity it is.”
And Paul, you’ve been in the business a long time. What surprised you most about the new talent?
Paul Sculfor: “A lot of girls take selfies and think that makes them a model. It’s not about that. It’s a whole business. When I started I literally walked the streets for two years. I lived in a cupboard at one point. You have to really, really earn your way.”
Clancy: “You need to have stamina and be strong. It’s a lifestyle. Some of the girls would moan on a nine-hour shoot. I just say get on with it.”
So are you as fierce as Tyra Banks is on America’s Next Top Model?
Clancy: “Not yet. We’ve been ourselves and true to our own ideas and opinions.”
Sculfor: “Abbey and I are really honest. If someone’s not pulling their weight, they will be told.”
Abbey, you came second in series two but have gone on to have a very successful career. Does it really matter who wins?
Clancy: “I’d obviously say no! I hope out of the 12 girls a lot of them will have a good career in modelling.”
Sculfor: “It was important for us to find someone who can genuinely have a career. It’s a reality TV show, but we’re keen for more than that.”
Do you have any signature poses, Zoolander style?
Sculfor: “I think Blue Steel comes from the 70s catalogues. The industry has changed. It’s not about posing anymore. It’s about being in the character. If you’re doing a denim shoot you’re not going to be standing their posing like a 70s catalogue guy.”
Clancy: “Although if you’re wearing denim flares you could be.”
British models are big news! Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne, Naomi Campbell…
Sculfor: “It’s because we’re different. A lot of countries are body beautiful and body-conscious. That’s their main thing. They don’t realise you have to have your business mind and plan ahead. If you’re an airhead it’s not going to work.”
Is it as catty an industry as it’s portrayed to be?
Sculfor: “There was a rivalry in the 90s between the British and the American guys. All the British guys seemed to be out of a Guy Ritchie movie. I was at a show for Armani in Milan. When the lights came up, one of the guys put his foot up and tripped another one. It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.”
Do you have go-to TV shows to unwind with after a hard day?
Sculfor: “I love Box Sets. Sons Of Anarchy is awesome. Breaking Bad is brilliant. And Narcos is amazing.”
Clancy: “I like the Real Housewives. It’s good our show is going on Lifetime because I watch it anyway!”
Abbey – with two daughters, does your husband (Stoke City striker Peter Crouch) feel outnumbered?
Clancy: “He likes being the king. He’s used to going into training with pink nail varnish on.”
And finally…who’s the nation’s sweetheart: you or Cheryl Fernandez-Versini?
Clancy: “She can take the title. Cheryl’s the nation’s sweetheart.”
Don’t miss Britain’s Next Top Model when it returns on Thursday 14th January at 9pm on Lifetime (CH 208) and Lifetime HD (CH 209)!