Hedge End man says modelling competition changed his life

Basingstoke Gazette: Life now has taken a very different turn though for born-and-bred Hedge End man Tom Chudleigh, who fell into modelling three years ago by accident Life now has taken a very different turn though for born-and-bred Hedge End man Tom Chudleigh, who fell into modelling three years ago by accident

FLICKING through the glossy portfolio it’s hard to believe he was once shy and retiring.

Life now has taken a very different turn though for born-and-bred Hedge End man Tom Chudleigh, who fell into modelling three years ago by accident.

Persuaded by his parents to enter a competition to become the face of men’s clothing brand Moss Bros, the 24-year-old sprang to success with an unexpected win in 2011, landing him a year’s contract with Select Model Management and a nationwide James Bond-esque campaign.

Since then, Tom has featured in international campaigns, worked abroad, and even had his derriere in Glamour magazine alongside comedian Miranda Hart.

Now signed to Next Model Management in London, Elite Model Management Milano and Fusion in Cape Town, the ex Marks and Spencer worker admits modelling has changed his life.

He said: “I was shy in school, not outgoing at all.

“I definitely think I have a lot more confidence since modelling.

“When you have to do castings in your boxers in a room full of people it makes going to job interviews less scary. It’s everybody’s worst nightmare to stand in front of people in your underwear, but now I have done that public speaking isn’t scary at all.

“I’m also more independent from travelling around and going to different places.”

His biggest shoot to date saw him twice travel to Switzerland to film a television commercial for Migros, the Swiss equivalent of M&S, but he confessed the second trip was his favourite.

“We did the shoot right up in the mountains and it was the most amazing place I’ve ever been to.

“We stopped in Zurich and the night before we went home I walked around the city at night, it was a really pretty place.

“There’s a bigger world out there, and modelling has taught me that. You get to leave your home town and go to London a lot more, go abroad and see things you never would have seen.”

Whilst trying to make a name for himself in the modelling world, Tom was studying for a degree at Portsmouth University in Business Enterprise Development, from which he graduated last year.

He now hopes to set up his own marketing company, but wants to keep modelling at the moment.

“There was a job I was lined up to do and the pay was £15,000 for five days work. If the money was right and I was doing well then of course I would stay with it,” he said.

“I’d never thought about modelling before, and I didn’t know much about it. What shocked me most is how much money people make, most of the big jobs are crazy money.”

It’s not just material things that Tom has gained from modelling though, until recently he had been fairly unlucky in love and had lacked the confidence to meet new people.

“Modelling has definitely changed my life,” he said.

“It has given me the chance to travel, see new things, experience the world and meet new people, and I don’t think I would have done that before.

“I have changed as a person.”

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