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BINTM 2012: Elle Macpherson – ‘Tyson Beckford is beautiful and sexy’
MSN TV chats to the judges for the new series of Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model.
Seeing a supermodel in real life is a surreal experience - having high tea with two of the world's most famous international supermodels at London's luxurious Claridge's hotel for the Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model press launch is a whole different story.
Yes, sipping tea opposite Elle Macpherson and enjoying a cream scone whilst chatting away to Tyson Beckford is probably one of the most glamorous things that MSN TV has ever done and we had a great time finding more out about the new series of BINTM.
This time around, head judge Elle will be joined by Tyson Beckford and The Hills star Whitney Port on the judging panel. Self-described 'fashion designer extraordinaire' Julien Macdonald will also be returning and will be joining the hunt for the hottest new female model in Britain and Ireland.
As well as basking in the beauty of Elle and Tyson at the press event, we also cosied up next to Julien and enjoyed a gossip with Whitney about what we can expect from the new series of the Sky Living show.
The judges clearly enjoyed their time together filming, as when they gracefully waltzed into the tea room at Claridge's they looked as thick as thieves and we spotted Whitney and Julien having a giggle together. Tyson and Elle also seemed to be practically best friends and Elle even gushed to us that she thinks Tyson is 'beautiful and sexy'. We have a feeling she's not the only one who thinks so...
You can read our full interview with all four of the judges below and the first episode of the new series of BINTM is set to hit our screens on Monday 9 July on Sky Living at 9pm.
The judges were snapped arriving at the swanky BINTM press event.
First up, we enjoyed a cup of tea with Elle and Tyson...
Hey Elle, you must be so excited to be back for the new series - how does it feel to be back?
Elle: Well, I'm really excited about the new judging panel, with myself, Tyson, Whitney and my right-hand-man Julien. We have 14 brilliant contestants this year and the quality of the girls is amazing.
Last year, we saw Jade walk away the winner - what were you looking for in a girl this time around?
Elle: Every year there are different girls and we want the girls that really stand out. We really want to get to know them to see if they could have longevity in their career, star quality...
Tyson: They must also be able to represent the brand of Top Model.
Tyson - you're no stranger to modelling television shows (he starred on the US show Make Me A Supermodel). How do you feel about joining BINTM?
Tyson: I was a guest judge on last year's series of BINTM, so I'm really familiar with the show. As a model, to come on the show and be a proper judge rather than a guest judge is amazing.
Elle: It's wonderful to have Tyson back, as he came in last year as a guest judge and I was so taken by him because he really understood the business. He's been a model nearly as long as I have and he's got a lot of experience. I said; 'I think we need Tyson as a judge', as not only is he beautiful and sexy, he also has long-term experience in the business.
And what do you look for in a model Tyson?
Tyson: We're looking for someone who can come into the room and capture the whole room. Someone who can speak well and represent the brand. We're looking for that 'it' person - when she walks into the room, girls want to be like her and guys want to get to know her.
There have been some amazing photo shoots in previous series' of BINTM - what can we expect from this series?
Elle: Let's just say this: The show starts in Dubai with twenty girls for the first photo shoot - it gets better from there on...
Will new judges Whitney and Tyson be able to handle the heat behind the judging panel?
After a brief shuffle around, Whitney and Julien swap places with Elle and Tyson...
Julien, you were close to Grace Woodward and Charlie Speed who were judges on the show last year, can you reveal why they were replaced by Whitney and Tyson?
Julien: You know what? Everything changes. We all miss Charlie and Grace but at the end of the day, it's always about new people and fresh faces. This time, it's time for Whitney and Tyson to bring a new glamour, a new energy and that Hollywood feel to Britain.
Whitney: This is really exciting for us. For me personally not only to have the experience to come over here and get involved in the British fashion industry, but to be part of such an awesome journey and see these girls grow and learn and become who they want to be.
Whitney, what do you think of British and Irish style?
Whitney: I think it's awesome. I was talking to someone yesterday who thinks that LA style is better, but I think that British and Irish fashion is a little bit edgier and the girls take a lot more risks.
It can get pretty tough in the BINTM competition for the girls - is it hard to not get emotionally attached to them?
Julien: At the end of the day, it's our job to give an honest opinion to the girls and to help them as much as we possibly can. Whitney's a little bit nicer than me...
Whitney: I think that the thing is any criticism that we make is purely to help them. We're not there to bring them down or make them feel bad. It's really just to help them grow. You have to be aware of your flaws in order to become who you want to be.
Julien: For the girls it was great to have Whitney there, as they've followed her journey through life from her show and they really admire Whitney as a presenter and also as a fashion designer. On the show, the girls would say 'Whitney, who are you wearing?' and she would say 'my own line!'
We've seen some huge rows on previous series' of BINTM - how catty to the girls get this time around?
Whitney: We don't see everything that happens behind closed doors. There are some very strong personalities and it's a competition and people are going to fight for their place. So, it does get pretty heated...
Julien: You have to remember that there are twenty gorgeous young girls from Britain and Ireland in one big house. They don't all get on and packs are formed and made between them...
Size is always an issue when it comes to modelling - are there any plus-sized models on this year's show?
Julien: Variety is the spice of life. There is a mixed bag of all girls; they're all different shapes, sizes and ages. They're all fighting to survive and, of course, it's the best one who wins.
Whitney: I think that's the cool thing about this show, as you're not seeing that stereotypical model and you're not seeing twenty of the same-looking girls with the same figures. In this series you see girls of all different shapes and sizes who still have the ability to be a model.
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