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23rd Jul 2012

Tyson Beckford Talks Modelling, Women and Being an “Accessory”

Is it hot in here? No, it's just Tyson Beckford and was lucky enough to have a chat with him recently. Steady yourselves ladies, the man is amazing...

Tyson Beckford – ladies, where do we start? Not only is the man ridiculously attractive, he’s also witty, intelligent and, above all else, great craic.

The thing that strikes us the most about the lovely Mr Beckford is the fact that he is so down-to-earth. In terms of personality, he is easy-going and so laid-back that he’s practically horizontal. (Tyson? Horizontal? We’re having heart palpitations already…)

In fact, it’s hard to believe that this man is considered to be one of the best male models in the world simply because there’s no ego and no arrogance – he’s just sound.

Recently we had the heart-stopping pleasure of sitting down and having some banter with Tyson about modelling, being recruited as a judge for Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model and eh…appreciating the female form…

Tyson, we’re sorry but we have to ask you this: is it true that you’re 41 years old? How do you keep yourself looking so good?!

“Yes, it’s true. I’m 41 and in the gym at 4.45 in the morning. I take good care of myself. Moisturiser girls, moisturiser!”

How long have you been modelling for?

“I’ve been in the modelling industry for 20 years this September. You watch models come and go and you try to teach them longevity. I basically tell them that it’s all about how long you want to stay in it and the way you take care of yourself.”

Is looking after yourself the main priority for a male model?

“I think it’s important that you take good care of yourself if you want to stay in a business that’s beauty-driven. And it’s a women’s industry – I’m an accessory (laughs).”

You’ve been a judge on a few modelling type reality shows already, what do you look for in a model?

“Personality is a huge part. When people meet you, you want them to be like: ‘oh my god, that guy is so cool!’ You don’t want them to say: ‘that guy is so drab, he didn’t say anything. Personality jumps off the television screen. It jumps off a picture. When you look at the press pictures of all of us, we look awesome, we look sexy! (laughs). We stand out, you know?

To be a good fashion model and to be a good top model, you need to jump off the page. You want people to fall in love with you.”

So what’s your judging style like on Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model?

“I’m a guy’s guy and I’m looking at it from a man’s perspective of ‘is she hot? Yeah, she’s hot! Is she the epitome of what I want to see? Do I want my woman to be like that?’”

Are there any main differences between the British and Irish girls that auditioned for the show as opposed to American girls?

“I felt that the girls over here were more mature than the girls in the States. Here you’re exposed to more, so you tend to grow up sooner whereas in the States, they can be very immature sometimes. And they’re more catty in the States I think.

Over here, you’re more polite and you worry more about what people think. In the States it’s like: ‘did she just say that?! I wish she didn’t say that!’ (laughs).”

What advice would you give to any aspiring models out there?

“Go for it. I say go for it. There are no limits, there are no boundaries. The worst they can say is no. It’s better to do it while you’re young and you have the energy to run around, because if you wait too long and miss that window, you’ll always hate yourself for not chasing your dreams.”

Finally, do you ever get fed-up of being an ‘accessory’ as you put it?

“I’ve got a friend who wants to be a model, he does a little bit but he actually drives a cement truck for a living. He’s got to pick up and drop off stuff at certain times and he’ll ask me: ‘what did you do today?’ And I’ll say: ‘well, I had to go on a photo shoot with these beautiful girls and I had to keep adjusting one girl’s top with my hands because we didn’t want her to fall out’ – how do you complain about a job like that?!” (laughs).

Want more Tyson? Tune in to season eight of Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model on Sky Living, Monday nights at 9pm.