Britain’s Next Top Model is back on our screens, and the show does not look like it did last series. First of all, there’s a fresh new judging panel, headed up by InStyle cover girl Abbey Clancy. Ten years after she landed the runner up position in the second cycle of the modelling show, she’s back alongside fashion journalist Hilary Alexander, celebrity photographer Nicky Johnston and international male model Paul Sculfor to put 15 wannabe models through their paces.
We caught up with Hilary, Nicky and Paul at the Battersea Collars And Coats ball to talk all things BNTM, including why taking a good selfie just isn’t good enough.
What’s different in the new series?
Nicky: It’s a new era, it’s exciting! It’s more interactive between the judges and the models.
Pauls: It’s less serious than before.
Hilary: We don’t beat each other up, but we do have arguments.
Spill - who’s the nasty judge?
Nicky: I’m the nasty one! I get very annoyed with the models.
Hilary: He is! He’s the one who rages.
Paul: You can already hear that crisp tone…
So what are you looking for in the girls?
Hilary: Personality, a commitment to the job and a passion for modelling. It’s not enough to look good. You’re not being paid enough to like a dress, you’re being paid to wear it.
Paul: Someone who can actually go on to have a serious career.
Just like Abbey?
Paul: Exactly. Look at Abbey, she took the business in her grasp and these girls have the opportunity to do that.
Do the girls know what they’re letting themselves in for?
Nicky: A lot of models who come on the show this series think it’s very easy just to stand there and model. After two or three weeks, they say “I thought it was going to be easier than this”.
Hilary: I think a lot of the girls realised that a professional model is not like taking a selfie. Anyone can take a selfie, but not everybody can be a model.
Paul: That’s so true.
What’s your advice for girls who want to apply next year?
Paul: Do your homework!
Hilary: Exactly. Read, learn and digest. You’ve got to believe in yourself, to the point where you’d be willing to do anything to reach your dream.
Nicky: And you need to have a passion. If you don’t have that, in any profession, you’ll never succeed in it.
Are there any surprises this year?
Paul: There are some really good girls, from across the board.
Hilary: You won’t believe the tasks. I’ll give you a hint: I joined in one of them, but I can’t say anymore.
Nicky: That one was shocking.
Paul: Fabulously shocking!
Britain’s Next Top Model starts tonight at 9pm on Lifetime