EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Grace Woodward

Posted by Dean Piper On July 19th, 2011

Chick Fix - Presenter Grace Woodward

Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model judge Grace Woodward is even more fierce and foxy in this series of the Sky Living programme. And I love it! When Natalie Edwards hooked up with the fab fashion creative and stylist this week she almost didn’t recognise her as she’s temporarily ditched her trademark thick black specs and a flawless lash look.
We caught up to chat having Katie Price as a guest judge, styling the new series of X Factor and her current wardrobe must-haves.

You’re known for your signature specs so what’s the reason for leaving them in their case for the new series of BINTM?
Like anybody that wears glasses I wear them when I need to. When I don’t where them I go out and squint my way through the evening. I’ve been to parties where people have thought I rudely blanked them but it’s because I haven’t seen them! I think my glasses were great to make my mark but they’re quite fearsome. I want people to see the expression and emotion in my eyes more and next week they do make a guest-appearance! If I get asked to do the next series I’ll have to completely re-invent myself. I think it might have to be a hair trick and I’ll dye it crazy colours like all those cool East London girls. I’ve always wanted to dye my hair peach and pink. During the makeovers we dye one of the girl’s hair on the show candy floss pink and I was just so jealous. I was like ‘Oh I want that!’ So maybe I’ll do that.

The new series of BINTM has already been going down a storm. What’s been your favourite moment from filming?
It has been so much fun with the new format. Last year Charley, Julien and myself got stranded Malaysia because of the ash cloud and we became really good friends. Julien took charge and was like ‘right we’re going travelling’ and marched us round the whole of Malaysia’. Julien certainly knows how to live it up! This time we’re definitely having more of a laugh. There were plenty of moments where we just couldn’t stop laughing.

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And this series you’re going to be having guest judges joining you on the panel…
I think having some of the guest judges is actually quite nerve-wracking because we know each other really well. They are also quite opinionated and it can feel sometimes like they are judging us too. We’ve got in a pattern of banter and sometimes I think they can look at us and be like ‘I think you’re all mad!’ The calibre of guest judges has been really fantastic and hopefully really exciting for the viewer.

And Katie price is one of said guest judges, How did that go?
I was terrified at the thought of meeting her! She knows when to pull out bits of her personality and she was demure and quiet until we asked ‘What’s going on?!’ She was like ‘all right then’ and started going ‘that’s vile’, ‘sack her’ and hilariously told someone to ‘jog on’! If people think I’m harsh then, wow, you should hear some of the things she said!

Do you admire her style as it’s pretty individual?

I think there’s a lot of admiration for creating a business out of not a lot but the jury is out whether I would want my career or life to be like that.

Being so well known for your style do you ever have fashion faux pas?

Oh God, all the time! But there’s no particular antidote. I’m new to the public eye but I’m used to working in fashion where you express yourself and be creative by wearing whatever you want. We joke that I’ve got a ‘Grace Woodward style laboratory’ because sometimes the experiments go really, really wrong but other times they go really, really right. It’s a science in itself to do this whole in front of the cameras thing and it’s something that I’m still working out. I totally see now why Victoria Beckham doesn’t smile in pictures because your face can just go all over the place.

What wardrobe must haves do you currently have on your wish-list?

The Givenchy collection have got a pair of reading glasses which have black panther’s down the side. My car is nicknamed ‘the panther’ because it’s a black pimped out 1980’s Mercedes! They also have a black patent leather baseball cap which has got little cat’s ears out of the top and I really like it because it’s very silly! Because people think I’m a bit stern it’s nice sometimes to do a fun accessory. I do get worried that people think I’m a bit too fierce! I think you have to be because it’s such a difficult industry that the models are going in to. Julien does make fun of them a little when he calls them funny names but I think he does that for the comedy value. I don’t want to do that as I’d rather just try and help them.

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And you’re a busy lady because you also have your new programme Chick Fix coming out soon on Sky Living…
Yes it’s a real pro-women programme. My boyfriend and I watched the first episode together and he said that it feels like the real Sex And The City. It’s four women with real lives helping each other out. They are really, smart funny women who have problems in their lives like anyone else and they just need some time to sort it out. There’s a bit of a makeover in it but it’s not about that as that’s just a treat. It’s all about what they go through and how they help each other out. They are lovely with each other but because they are strangers to each other they do shoot it straight from the hip. It’s great for me because I’m not involved in any of the styling or therapy – I’m just the host. The programme does mean a lot to me as I haven’t had the most picture perfect life.

Is the new side of you which we’ll see in Chick fix a sign of things to come?
My burning ambition is to bring a really cool fashion programme to the TV. It would be all about style and be generally quite funny. The makeover show has done it’s time and I think there’s room for something a bit fresher. What’s great is that I’m not just a presenter and I can write and produce too. I’d also like to do a radio show.

Will you be involved in heading up the style team again on the new series of X Factor this year?
I have no idea. I didn’t hear until two weeks beforehand last time! It’s a crazy wonderful world of it’s own at X Factor and by keeping people on their toes they keep the energy up.

If they offer you the role of X Factor stylist again will you take it?

It depends on what’s going on at the time. Obviously having done it last time it would be a natural progression but I also have things in the pipe-line for that time of year so who knows? It will have to be the highest bidder!

What would you like to see this year in terms of style on the X Factor?

Last year I got lots of comments from people saying they really noticed a change and so whatever happens I would like that to still happen. I think it’s an amazing platform for British designers to get involved and showcase their work. I’d like to see a mixture of vintage, high-end designer and high-street being used. You want to see fashion in motion on the stage while also having some gratuitous male nudity!

There’s been lots of comparisons this year between the style of Tulisa Contostavlos and Cheryl Cole – do you think that’s fair?
That must be really hard for her. I really don’t think it’s fair because how can you compare women of different ages and different looks? I think that’s bad.

Do you think the X Factor will be a strange place to potentially work this year without Simon Cowell there?

I think he has an incredibly good incite into what the public thinks and his advice to me was always really sound. But I don’t believe that he’ll stay away for the whole time and not turn up at all! It’s his baby. It’s actually great that he’s letting it go a bit because it’s giving it new life with new people. But I still think people want to see him there and I still think he will fulfill that.

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