The Model Agency Review: “Carole, I’ve Got A Feeling We’re Not Coming Out So Well…”

THE MODEL AGENCY: Wednesday 30th March, C4, 10pm

You have to wonder what Carole & Co’s motivation was behind consenting to a documentary about Premier. Vanity? Definitely. Publicity? Another yes. Did they naively think that they would come out well, enter the world of reality slebs, and get to go on This Morning? Or did they just think it would give their agency a sense of prestige? They’re all so deluded, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Well, we can all safely assume that they have not come out well. Even with the question of Channel 4’s underhanded editing techniques, sometimes it’s hard to argue with phrases like, “”the fascination of hearing a black person speak with a British accent,” and, in response to a 16-year-old girl who doesn’t want to be criticised, exploited, and bartered around like a prize-winning radish in order to make these people money – “somebody needs to shoot this girl.”

It’s the penultimate episode and, Fashion Week over, lovely Leonie is being touted around town after making a splash opening shows for people with names like “lerrgiereh” and “orrezz” etc, that everybody pronounces in a stupid French accent. Everyone thinks she’s the next Naomi Campbell, because she is both black and British, which her bookers seem to feel is an incredible ‘commodity’. Anthony, director of Scouting, says that it’s “fascinating”. Meanwhile India, the girl who had the bare-faced gaul to leave New York Fashion Week because someone called her fat, has got an appointment to see Mario Testino – photographer, Kate Moss’s BFF and all-round Fashion Jesus. She ends up missing her Skype meeting with Testino, which Carole and Annie, head of New Faces, see as evidence of her continued loyalty to Satan.

While shows like Britains Next Top Model present the modelling industry as a glamourous golden chalice that millions of young boys and girls are b*tchslapping each other to drink from, The Model Agency‘s message is a little different. In the real world, hardly anyone has the potential to be a model – in an earlier episode Annie, says it’s something like one in 50,000 – therefore, the people that can be models are dragged into it kicking and screaming, by an army of over-familiar modelling zealots. “Spotted” at the age of about 12 or 13, they’re relentlessly preened and ‘prepped’, before being wrenched from normal life at 16 to a world where they’re expected to shut up, not eat, accept damning criticism with a smile, work 19 hours a day and NEVER EVER COMPLAIN.

Rather than excite them, this show (if not Carole’s low-pitched cackle and supervillian-like attachment to a little white dog) will send a shiver down the spine of any would-be model. Next week, for the first time, things actually get interesting as Carole appears in the trial of ex-Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, accusing Naomi Campbell of accepting blood diamonds from him. Wonder how many fags she’ll smoke in that episode?

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