Latvian beauty hopes to be Next Top ModelBy Sally Bryant
September 06, 2011
A Latvian beauty who has made Reading her home is pinning her hopes and dreams on being Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model.
Blonde Anastasija Bogatirjova is down to the final five in the televised search for a star – and she is loving every minute of it.
For those who haven’t been booking the sofa for 9pm every Monday for the last couple of months, ‘Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model’ is in its seventh series on Sky Living.
A bright-eyed bunch of 90 hopefuls emerged from auditions in six cities. A boot camp knocked that down to 13, who moved into the glamorous Top Model house together for the duration of the fashion fight. The ultimate prize is a contract, the promise of your face in the glossies, a holiday in Jamaica and all the other trappings of a jetset lifestyle – and Anastasija wants to seize it all.
“It’s really amazing for me, I have never been involved in anything like this,” the 20-year-old told City Woman.
“The only thing I hope now is to have a contract and I am going to work and work because I can’t imagine my life now without modelling in it.”
Anastasija, who came to this country two years ago and studied performing arts at Reading College, was cajoled into auditioning for the catwalk challenge by friends. “My classmates told me to go, I would never go by myself.”
It was a brave step to rekindle her dream, as her first brush with the modelling world was far from glamorous and her story made national headlines at the start of the series. When she was 14 and at home in Latvia, she went to a modelling school and was approached by what she now knows was a fake agency.
Attempts were made to lure her away to Milan, but her parents said no. They later learned from the police the ‘agency’ was selling girls as prostitutes abroad.
Not an auspicious start, then, but now Anastasija is back on track for the life she has always wanted.
Her fate lies in the hands of the judges, headed by Elle ‘The Body’ Macpherson and including top stylist Grace Woodward, designer Julien Macdonald and model Charley Speed – and Anastasija is loving every minute, even the inevitable bitchiness when it’s all girls together.
“Since the beginning, I thought it was very difficult to get on with everyone. I was arguing quite a bit, but at least I was honest,” she said.
“The house is huge and amazing, and very beautiful, but we really only use the kitchen and bedroom. We are filming every day.”
And her favourite bit so far?
“I really enjoyed the nude photoshoot and those are my favourite pictures.”
Happy in her own skin – that’s the sort of confidence that could take her to the top.