AGE ain’t nothing but a number for a Scarborough lady who’s enjoying her first modelling stint at 57 years old.
Camera shy Chrissy Buckley has overcome her timidity and is now modelling for an online retailer most famously fronted by actress Lynda Bellingham.
If you’re a fan of ITV1’s Loose Women, you might recognise Chrissy from the sponsorship bumpers for isme.com. You might even be one of the people to have stopped her in the street to ask if it really was her.
The Squires Pharmacy dispensing technician got the job after beating hundreds of applicants in the audition stages, but says she never expected to make the final cut.
She is now part of an ‘in reality panel’ – a group of everyday women who model the Savoir clothing collection and also advise the designers behind the range on the fashion needs of women over 50.
She said: “I’ve been a customer of Kay and Co for years and I got an email saying they wanted to start a panel, that they were doing auditions and whether I’d be interested. I just thought, ‘why not?’.
“We modelled the new season clothes, had lunch, a makeover and photographs taken, but I never really thought anything about it.
“Then I got a phone call later to say that I’d got through and that they wanted more photos and I said, yes, of course I would!
“I was surprised I got through. We went to about three or four auditions and they’d whittled it down to about six people from quite a lot. I was really chuffed – ‘not bad for 56’, I thought!”
Chrissy can be found gracing the pages of the isme.com catalogue and website, modelling items from the range, and she’s also hitting our TV screens.
“A couple of months later I thought I was going to be at another photoshoot, but we were invited down to London to film the ident sponsorship clips for Isme to appear on Loose Women,” said Chrissy.
“They started in January and it’s still on, there’s been a new lot in May. I’ve actually been down to the Loose Women studios and sat on the desk.”
Her previous reservations in front of the lens have faded away, which she says is thanks to the help of the make-up artists, a friendly camera crew and some strategic lighting!
She added: “I’ve really enjoyed it. To start with I’ve always been a bit camera shy, and I’ve never really particularly liked what I’ve seen.
“But of course when the professionals do it, it’s different. I have looked in the catalogue and thought I look quite good.”
Chrissy also said she’s enjoying the perks of the job, wearing new clothes and her own little bit of fame, and even a new pet name from husband Roy.
“A lot of customers come in and say ‘Are you on the advert on TV?’ and I say ‘Yes, Isme!’.
“People have stopped me in the street and I had a complete a stranger ask me one day.
“Everybody’s been really pleased for me and it has boosted my confidence.
“My husband is pleased; when I first started doing it, he told people before I did. Now he calls me ‘Supermodel’.
Soon to be looking ahead to her 58th birthday, Chrissy hasn’t looked back and is encouraging more older women to try new experiences and defy the age barrier.
She said: “It’s not about age, but if loads of 50-year-olds are looking at something an 18-year-old girl is wearing, you’d probably think ‘well I could never wear that’, but I think if you see someone a similar age as you wearing it, you can identify what it looks like on you.
“There are so many older ladies like Helen Mirren – they’re gorgeous now, you wouldn’t believe how old they are.
“I think you get to 50 and over and if an opportunity arises why not go for it? When you get to that age people tend to think you’re going to blend into the background, but we don’t do that.
“I would encourage more older women to go for it. It’s an experience of a lifetime, its’ something you don’t often get the opportunity to do.”
Chrissy said she had no plans to further a modelling career, but should the chance come up, she wouldn’t turn it down.