Coming Soon: Britain’s Next Top Model
Britain’s Top Model has, in the past, been marked as being a somewhat poorer version of its worldwide cousins.America’s next top model has Tyra, she of three moods: insane, very insane and the usual. And it has drama.
Australia’s Next Top Model has a focus on health and nutrition. Canada’s is presented by he of the silver Lego hair, Mr J and Britain’s version is known for… well. It’s overall cheapness.BNTM was presented initially by Lisa Butcher (me either), then Lisa Snowdon – both of who were hardly internationally renowned supermodels. The judges weren’t much better, being interchangeable ‘industry experts’ culminating in the absolutely godawful Louis Mariette, a proto-Louis Spence with none of the charm, who ended every shot in a modeling pose that I might have thought classy when I was six.
In the first couple of series, Britain’s version seemed a bit of an afterthought. The set cobbled together during an episode of Blue Peter and the slickness that we know from the American version entirely missing. This has gradually improved as the series (sorry, but I refuse to call them cycles) have gone on, as Living have apparently realised that people actually watch it.
And now they’ve invested even more in the show. In the new series, starting Monday, we have an internationally recognised presenter – that famous British Model, Elle McPherson (I’ll let that one pass) – and one judge that I have actually heard of, Julien MacDonald of the fashions. Also casting their eye are Charley Speed (the model) and Grace Woodward (the stylist).Nope, me either.
The most remarkable factor in all of this is that very few of the winners seem to get work beyond the competition-winning photoshoot. Some have made it in other avenues of life, but not a single one has gained supermodel status. But that doesn’t seem to matter. It’s about, for want of a better term, the journey. In-fighting, bitching and crying over haircuts remain the reasons that this show is eminently watchable.
Monday’s episode promises us 25 girls handpicked by Elle. Amongst these, we’ve been promised a top four Miss Black Britain contestant, a third placed Miss Great Britain contestant and a former Miss Cornwall. Quality all the way…It’s on Living, on Monday at 9pm, if you fancy seeing who might win Britain’s Next Top Model and ultimately find themselves destined for obscurity.