EXCLUSIVE: Supermodels at war: As Naomi Campbell launches her new show, Tyra Banks’ TV hit comes to the end of its shelf life
Their fashion feud was legendary – but now Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks’ acrimony is spilling over to our TV screens.
British supermodel Naomi, 42, launches her new modelling show The Face tonight – while MailOnline can reveal that Tyra’s TV hit, America’s Next Top Model is being cut from two seasons a year to one as it comes to the end of its shelf life.
And after being unceremoniously axed from ANTM, former judge Nigel Barker is now the host of The Face – and tonight he takes a swipe at his former boss by introducing new co-star Karolina Kurkova as ‘Victoria’s Secret’s most famous angel’, formerly a title held by Tyra.
Nigel, 40, appeared on Watch What Happens: Live with Andy Cohen last night and Cohen broached his departure from ANTM after 18 seasons, saying bluntly: ‘You got canned.’
Asked if he had any resentment towards Tyra, Nigel replied: ‘For a moment, but, you know, it was a week later when I got a call from Oxygen saying, ‘We’d like you to be the host of ‘The Face.
‘So, one week of resentment. I’m over it now. Now I’m the host. Watch out, Tyra!’
Stunning Tyra, 39, has made millions from the CW show as she owns the format – and has sold it across the globe.
Axed: Tyra Banks sacked Nigel Barker from ANTM after 18 seasons
ANTM returns for its 20th season – called a ‘cycle’ – this summer. Usually, two cycles are filmed per year, however, chiefs at the CW network are cutting it down to just one.
A source said: ‘Let’s face it, ANTM has had a good run, it’s still popular – just not as popular as it was.
‘Every year, Tyra has to come up with more and more extreme ideas to keep it going. There’s only so many times it can keep being revamped.’
So far, Tyra has brought over models from the UK, filmed a college special – and is this year casting for male models for the first time.
Meanwhile, Naomi is an executive producer and mentor on Oxygen’s The Face – which is being sold to countries around the world, unsurprisingly to many of the same networks on which ANTM is already aired.
The format of The Face sees Naomi, Karolina and fellow model Coco Rocha each mentor four aspiring models as they compete to find the face of ULTA Beauty.
A source said: ‘The producers of The Face have been very clever…there are just enough differences in the format that Tyra can’t complain.’
The supermodel coaches will guide their wannabes through photo shoots and commercials – and will each be given a turn to eliminate a model.
However, for Naomi this leads to tears and tantrums as clips of the show feature her swearing and ranting at her fellow mentors.
After being seen raging at Karolina, she admitted on the Today show: ‘I was very upset, I am protective of my girls, Karolina eliminated my girl and I was just not ready for it.’
Frenemies: Supermodels Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell pose at the 38th annual NAACP Image Awards in LA in March 2007
New TV stars: Former ANTM judge Nigel Barker is now the host of The Face, pictured here with model mentors Naomi Campbell, Karolina Kurkova and Coco Rocha
Old pals: Nigel Barker with Tyra Banks, Andre Leon Talley and Jay Manuel at the CW Network Reality launch party in New York in February 2010
When asked if the ‘real you’ comes out on the show, Naomi replied: ‘You’ve heard a lot of stories over the years….on this show you’re gonna get to see me.
‘I’ve never been someone to justify things, I just let it go.’ However, on the show, she said: ‘I speak pretty much in depth about things I’ve never spoken about before.
‘I’m competitive, absolutely, it’s not about us, the mentors, it’s about my girls…we have their lives in our hands. It’s important this is done properly and that they really do get what the authenticity of what this fashion business is about. I’m not going to be holding my girls hands when they go to castings.’
The notoriously private star said she signed up for reality TV because ‘it’s not a camera following me and my life…I would never display my life and what I do and where I travel and where I live. I need to keep that anonymity for me.’
The statuesque supermodel said the ‘legendary’ Nigel had been ‘graciously helping me’ with her move to reality TV.
How it’s done: Naomi gives advice to aspiring models on how to properly strut down a catwalk
Naomi and Tyra had an infamous feud that lasted 15 years until they made up on Tyra’s former chat show in 2005.
Fighting back tears, Tyra said: ‘Today is a healing day for me and I hope it is a healing day for Naomi too.’
She recalled backstage tantrums and fashion shows and catty remarks through the years, but insisted a location shoot in Anguilla was the first time the rivalry turned really nasty.
Tyra accused her guest of having her kicked off the photoshoot after a spat on a boat, saying: ‘You turned. You went from (being) the sweetest woman who was giving me vitamins to someone that terrified me on that trip.
‘I was told on that trip I was sent home because you didn’t want me there anymore.’
New panel: Tyra revamped ANTM and hired fashion PR Kelly Cutrone, blogger Bryanboy, model Rob Evans and stylist Johnny Wujek. The team are seen at the ANTM premiere party last August
While Naomi denied this, Tyra also recalled a spat backstage at a European fashion show, when she recalled her rival telling her, “You’ll never be me, don’t ever think that you’ll be me.’
Shocked Naomi retorted, “I said that..? I know the person that I am and I’m not someone to go and give myself away and say that to anybody, I’ve never said that in my life. But if that’s what you remember, I accept that, but it doesn’t sound like me.’
The two models put their differences behind them at the end of the show show and sobbed after Naomi told her former rival: ‘However I’ve affected you or you’ve felt that I’ve affected you I take my responsibility, I must say I’m very proud of you. You’ve been a powerful black woman… Please continue.’
Tyra ended the show by telling viewers: ‘I can rejoice because I have made peace with this woman here.’