Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model series nine: meet the contestants

Check out the young hopefuls competing to impress Elle Macpherson, Dannii Minogue and Tyson Beckford and win this year's contest

Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model is back on the hunt for another willowy creature to take the catwalk by storm and this time around they have a famous face lending her fashion nouse to the competition. Former X Factor judge and designer Dannii Minogue is joining Elle Macpherson and Tyson Beckford on the panel for the ninth series, helping to whittle down fourteen hopefuls to one top model. 


After a dramatic boot camp battle, the final contestants have been selected to brave the model house and this year they include an ex-member of the territorial army, a former Miss Ireland and a hostess at racy nightclub, The Box. But before the months of photo shoots, glamorous clothes and bitchy comments commence, let’s meet the contestants…

Name: Abigail Johns

Hometown: Exeter/London

Favourite feature: Hair

Worst feature: Feet

An aspiring drama student, Abi is also a part-time hostess at infamous London nightclub and celeb hangout, The Box. Although her lack of modelling experience might set her at a disadvantage, Abi believes her “wise and positive outlook on life” will help her stand out from the crowd. Megan Fox is her style icon, so it comes as no surprise that she describes her style as “Daisy Duke mixed with London hip hop”, but her dream job would be a bikini shoot on a gorgeous beach – as long as there were no eels involved…

Name: Angel Mbonu

Hometown: Middlesex

Favourite feature: Eyes

Worst feature: Feet and her “man hands”

A youngster of the group, even by fashion standards, 17-year-old Angel is currently a model at Abercrombie & Fitch. Despite having limited modelling experience, she maintains fashion is very important to her, describing her style as “quirky” and listing Roberto Cavalli, Dior and Gucci as her favourite designers. Her dream shoot would involve dolphins, seahorses or attempting to walk on water, but her ideal evening would be to hang out with Spongebob Squarepants or Ed Miliband. Err… Unsurprisingly, Angel uses the word “crazy” to sum herself up.

Name: Christina Chalk

Hometown: Dunblane

Favourite feature: Hair

Worst feature: Hands

Born in the Philippines before moving to Scotland, Christina is now a pharmacology student, living with friends in Glasgow. Unlike some of her rivals, she is no stranger to modelling, winning ‘Scotland’s New Face’ competition and the chance to meet and interview Gerard Butler who asked for her number! Despite wanting a career in the industry, Christina doesn’t follow fashion closely, listing Zara as her favourite brand and Beyoncé as her favourite model.

Name: Danielle Sandhu

Hometown: Retford

Favourite feature: Stomach

Worst feature: Feet

Brainy Danielle is currently studying for a criminology degree at Lincoln University, but is attracted by the idea of getting into character that comes with modelling. At 20 years old, this is not her first time in the competition, having reached boot camp two years ago, but this time she’s hoping to fare better, using her athleticism to help her stand out from the competition (she is a keen footballer and boxer). That and her half Indian ethnicity which she says gives her an element of mystery to use to her advantage.

Name: Emily Garner

Hometown: Chelmsford

Favourite feature: Eyes

Worst feature: Hands

Emily’s profession as an apprentice hairdresser in Tony & Guy will surely give her an advantage over her competitors. Add to that her experiences as an Army Cadet where she earned the nicknames “posh totty” and “combat Barbie”. Asthma scuppered her chances of becoming a combat medic but should her modelling aspirations not work out, 18-year-old Emily would like to stay in fashion and style hair for photo shoots. Her fashion sense is described as “pretty rock”, while her dream photo shoot would take place on the wing of a plane. Standing at just 5ft 8in, she cites shorter models like Kate Moss as her inspiration.

Name: Emma Ward

Hometown: Leeds

Favourite feature: Lips

Worst feature: Stomach

20-year-old Emma lives at home with her family in Leeds, working in an HSBC call centre, but has dreamt of being a model for the past seven years. Along with Danielle, she has also appearerd on the show before but her nerves ruined her chances and Julien Macdonald told her to apply again the following year. Fashion-conscious Emma lists Roberto Cavalli as her favourite designer, but spends her days shopping in Mango and Zara. Her dream photo shoot would be in the Arctic where there is no sign of any creepy crawlies.

Name: Holly Carpenter

Hometown: Dublin

Favourite feature: Lips, mouth and smile

Worst feature: Thighs

21-year-old Dubliner Holly has already had a taste of fame, winning Miss Ireland and dating Irish rugby player Cian Healy. She has already graced a number of campaigns, fashion shows and photo shoots and is currently the face of skincare brand Green Angel, but aspires to be a Victoria’s Secret model. Her style is “girly with a bit of a rock edge”, with Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Michael Kors listed as her favourite designers. For daywear, Kate Moss is her style icon but Angelina Jolie inspires her eveningwear choices.

Name: Jessica Patterson

Hometown: Dublin

Favourite feature: Hair

Worst feature: Thighs

Another native Dubliner, 20-year-old Jess is an animation student at The Institute of Arts, Design and Technology in Dunlaoighre. She has already enjoyed a four-year career in modelling, appearing in shoots for Harvey Nichols, Kiss Magazine and Irish Life insurance, but will pursue a job in animation if her aspirations don’t work out. Other housemates be warned, don’t cross Jess – she is a taekwondo black belt, describing her style as “hobo chic” and listing Alexa Chung as her fashion icon. Her dream shoot would be something dark and eerie, but don’t put her in a wedding gown – it’s her worst nightmare.

Name: Laura Young

Hometown: Malvern

Favourite feature: Lips

Worst feature: Hands

19-year-old Laura is currently studying for A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Art, but has applied to modelling agencies in the past, only to be told to lose weight or try plus-size modelling. Despite her limited experience she has walked charity catwalks for boutique shops in Malvern and lists Kate Moss as her favourite model. Her style is “wacky and out there”, with her ideal shoot involving lions or tigers in Africa.

Name: Lauren Lambert

Hometown: Wallington

Favourite feature: Lips and legs

Worst feature: Bum and feet

Up till the age of ten Lauren was sunning herself in St Lucia, but nowadays lives with her younger sister and nephew in Surrey. 23 years old and currently unemployed, she spends her days looking for work, helping out with her family and sending unsuccessful applications to agencies. Her sense of style is down to earth but she would like to follow in the footsteps of Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum and names Chanel, Versace and Louis Vuitton as her favourite designers. While she is willing to go on safari or underwater for a shoot, her worst nightmare would be to pose naked.

Name: Naomi Pelkiewicz

Hometown: Bristol

Favourite feature: Lips

Worst feature: Nose and eyelashes

22-year-old Naomi has already been scouted a couple of times for modelling but has always found the industry a bit scary. A music graduate living with her mum and sister in Bristol, she has reached the boot camp stages of the series before and also made an appearance in the Example video Won’t go Quietly. Naomi describes her own style as “chic”, taking tips from her style icon Alexa Chung. Her favourite designer is Chanel and she would love to follow in the footsteps of Czech model Karolina Kurkova.

Name: Saffron Mir

Hometown: Batley

Favourite feature: Smile and legs

Worst feature: Nose and stomach

19-year-old Saffron only heard about the modelling auditions the day before they took place, but that didn’t stop her storming into the top 14. Modelling remains her dream career, but if it doesn’t work out she’d like to move to a third world country and teach under-privileged children. While her experience is limited, Saffron believes her confidence, unique look, figure and height will take her all the way.

Name: Sarah Kennedy

Hometown: Portnoo

Favourite feature: Smile and hair

Worst feature: Boobs

Business management student Sarah currently lives on her parents’ farm in Portnoo, working part-time as a housekeeper in a local hotel. Her past experience could well give her an advantage over her competitors – she’s been signed to an agency in Derry for a year and was crowned Miss Donegal in April 2012. The 22-year-old keeps herself busy with Irish dancing, football and keyboard playing, describing herself as independent, fiery and “up for the craic”. Her style icon is Kate Middleton, her favourite designer is Alexander McQueen and her worst nightmare would be a photo shoot with snakes and bugs.

Name: Sophie Ellson

Hometown: Southbourne

Favourite feature: Legs

Worst feature: Ears

A-Level student Sophie currently lives in Southborne but would love to travel the world as a model and have her look completely transformed every morning. In the past she’s been signed with an agency in Bournemouth, taking part in a couple of local fashion shows and shoots, but her dream job would be 60’s-influenced. A keen sportswoman and musician on the piano and cello, Sophie’s fashion is mainly influenced by Topshop, although she lists Kate Middleton as her ultimate style icon.


Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model continues on Thursdays at 9:00pm on Sky Living