IT WAS never a career path she ever envisaged taking.
But now Hampshire teenager Olivia Wardell has been crowned Britain’s Next Top Model, propelling her to nationwide stardom.
The 18-year-old wowed judges over 10 weeks on the television show, seeing off 11 other contestants to win a modelling contract, cosmetics campaign and a spread within a fashion magazine.
Offers from photographers and publications have been flooding in for the 6ft 1in Timsbury teen, who was the youngest model on the show, which airs on Lifetime and concluded on Thursday night.
The former Romsey School student will now be giving up her job as a waitress at Annie’s Tearoom, on the outskirts of Romsey, and move to London.
“I’m from a family where things like this never happen,” said Olivia, who was persuaded to enter the show by boyfriend Will.
“It was a massive achievement to get into the show as one of the 12 finalists, let alone actually winning the competition.”
On the show, which stars Abbey Clancy and Paul Sculfor, contestants jetted all over the globe for an array of different challenges, including a shoot in Cape Verde.
Speaking about the final, she added: “The night was ridiculously long; we were waiting for ages for the result which didn’t mix well with my emotions. We were all over the place.
“Going up against my best friend Jen (Malengele) was definitely special. But we had one another’s backs and knew that no matter the outcome it wouldn’t have an impact on our friendship.
“When they announced that I had won, I was ecstatic and couldn’t believe it.”
Before the competition, Olivia had never modelled professionally, just the odd photoshoot for her friends’ coursework.
But now she is one of the most sought-after models in the country, something that the teen never thought she would become.
“The competition as a whole has been very rewarding,” she said.
“It’s definitely been an eye opener and hopefully a massive platform for my career.“The experience on the show has changed me ever so slightly; it’s given me self confidence and has shown me that just a ‘pretty face’ will never get you far in life.”
She added: “I’ve made amazing contacts with the most incredible and talented people. And as the episodes have gone on I’ve had photographers upon photographers wanting to use me for their ‘next thing’.”
During the show, it wasn’t just her family rooting for her.
The teen developed a loyal following, which included several social media fan pages popping up.
She added: “It has truly been overwhelming.”
Source : DailyEcho