| 8.2°C Dublin

Irish girl will win Next Top Model, says axed Diona

THE first Irish girl to be booted out of Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model has tipped a Cork entrant to win.

Derry native Diona Donnelly (22), who was last night seen leaving the contest, is rooting for Lisa Madden to win Elle Macpherson's show.

"My favourite to win is Lisa, not just because she's from Ireland but because she's one of the most humble girls in the show. She's stunningly beautiful and doesn't even know it, she is just a lovely girl," she said.

The former 1st Options Model also revealed how she felt the programme was more based around a reality show than a modelling contest.

"I think it's more of a reality show and I don't think it will launch a big international career for any of the girls," she explained.

"It is more like reality TV show and that was obvious when we did the photo shoots, and you don't get to choose your own poses really, you're kind of put into them.


"I've done photoshoots before and it's not the same experience at all.

"The show does produce models that do some amazing work like last year's winner, Jade Thompson, but it is a TV show at the end of day."

Actress Diona said she was honest from the start that she always wanted to be an actress -- and admitted it freely to the producers.

They also compared her to a previous Irish entrant Sue Loughnane, who's now starring in Love/Hate and also made it clear that acting was her dream.

"At one point, Elle said to me 'the actress is oozing out of you' and I was thinking 'that's because I said it on my CV' I was open about it.

"The producers asked me, if I had to choose between an acting job and a big international campaign, which one I would pick. And I said the acting one, every time because I can still do that when I'm 90."

She was one of 20 girls who were picked to fly to Dubai and compete for one of the 13 places in the Next Top Model House.

She is currently in independent production Friday Night Therapy, which is showing Belfast before she goes to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.