Getting real with Mrs Rooney
PUBLISHED: 10:27 10 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:19 20 February 2013
How an ex Suffolk College student got her modelling chance
Getting real with Mrs Rooney
Dave Gooderham meets an ambitious Suffolk girl who are set on bringing a bit of pizzazz to our county
A CAREER in modelling was not something that ever crossed the mind of Charlotte Richards. That was until a chance meeting with the then-girlfriend of one of Englands most famous footballers which catapulted her into the glamorous world of photo shoots and magazine spreads.
The degree student had only been in London for a matter of weeks when she was approached out of the blue by Coleen McLoughlin, now Mrs Wayne Rooney, and asked if she wanted to audition for a television programme.
Before she barely had time to take it all in, unsuspecting Charlotte was pitched in front of an all-day fashion shoot before beating professional agency models to land a modelling contract on ITVs Coleens Real Women.
Charlottes prize a shoot in New Woman magazine gave her a taster for the modelling industry, if only as extra income during her three-year university course in London.
But she soon encountered a tougher, more rigid side of the business, away from national publications and working with famous faces.
The former Suffolk College student revealed: I have no regrets about going on the show at all. But the programme features girls who are not 6ft when the industry still rejects smaller girls. Even though I won and have had some offers, you still get rejected which can be a bit disheartening.
I havent done too much modelling since the show. I have been approached by agencies but have really just done a bit for fashion students. I would still like to get involved in modelling as it is fun and good money and I dont have a lot as a student.
I think my one problem was my height. I am 5ft 4ins and they seem to look for at least 5ft 8ins. They seemed to like my looks but I am shorter than the typical model. I would like to see the industry become more flexible and try different things. I understand that catwalk models have to be a certain height but I think when it is for a feature in a magazine, you cant really tell so much.
Although her height has proved a somewhat unfair and unfortunate disadvantage, Charlotte still had a glimpse at what many girls dream about but rarely experience.
Just weeks after moving to the capital to study at the London College of Fashion, the 21-year-old was finding her bearings around Brick Lane and Hoxton Square when she was approached by a familiar face.
Charlotte, who had never done any modelling before, said: I spotted Coleen McLoughlin, a model scout and a small camera crew. She told me about the programme and the fact that casting was the day after. I gave her my number and then she called me herself and asked me to come in.
It was a bit weird getting a call from Coleen herself. I spent a day casting for the spread in New Woman magazine and talking to Coleen in front of the cameras.
The programme takes normal women off the street and pits them against professional agency models to win modelling contracts.
Under McLoughlins tutelage, Charlotte was pitched to advertising executives and big brand marketing directors and impressed them all.
She beat off the challenge of 50 women in early auditions before making it down to the final three. She was then followed around by a camera crew and underwent two more photo shoots to produce a portfolio for an interview with New Woman magazine.
Despite being up against professional models something Charlotte described as daunting the magazine picked the rookie for a photo shoot covering spring fashion in an edition last year.
Charlottes brush with fame saw her get recognised in the streets of Ipswich while her Suffolk upbringing could not be disguised.
She revealed: I didnt really think I had that strong a Suffolk accent until I watched the programme. That was a bit weird. All my friends and family were really supportive and loved seeing me on television. They were all very proud. I even went out shopping in Ipswich and got recognised after it had aired, which was really strange.
v It is difficult to say why she chose me. I think she thought I stood out and when I watched the programme she said I was really beautiful. It was strange watching her say that about me on television and a bit funny, but nice. I hope they thought my personality was nice too.
As for McLoughlin, what did the Suffolk student think about a WAG who was given 2.5million to have her wedding photographs exclusively splashed on the pages of a national magazine?
She was lovely, kept herself to herself a little, but really down to earth, said Charlotte, who went to Claydon High School before studying art at Suffolk College. She was quite mature for her age (she is a year older than Charlotte). She is certainly not a typical WAG, she is more of a business women. I think she is someone you could look up to, especially from a business point of view.
With her modelling dreams currently on hold, Charlotte remains at college and is currently in her second year of a three-year BA in make-up and prosthetics for performance.
She spoke to Suffolk Magazine while on her summer break and said she was pleased to be back in the Ipswich area.
At the time of writing, she is living in the town with her boyfriend, Marley Moses, a popular DJ and music producer in Ipswich.
She said: He didnt know me when I was on the show, but he is just very supportive in whatever I choose to do.
While she is looking to use the course to break into the film or fashion industry, it seems her fleeting modelling experience has only whetted the appetitive of the ambitious youngster.
She said: I am not looking for a big break so to speak, just an opportunity to carry on doing this for just a little bit longer.
I recognised Coleen as she walked over and came up in front of me. Im not really sure what was going through my mind, it was just all a shock. I had only just moved to London when she approached me and I thought there was no reason not to go for it. Now I would just like a little bit more.