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Nell McAndrew (1998)

Nell McAndrew Real Name: Tracey Jane McAndrew
Date Of Birth: November 6th, 1973
Place Of Birth: Leeds, England
Height: 5'9"
Hair: Her natural colour is brown. Blonde at the moment
Eyes: Green
Vitals: 32D-25-36
Weight: 140 lbs.
Profession: Model, Fitness Instructor
Favorite Food: Anything Italian
Favorite Drink: Red Wine
Favorite Shop (Clothes): All of them! (Favourites include Diesel and William Hunt)
Most Embarassing Moment: Getting undressed before realising the window cleaner was there!

Tracy Jane McAndrew was born on November 6th, 1973, in Leeds, England, to a working-class family. Tracy was ever the athletic one and throughout childhood, dreamed of becoming a policewoman. Working in a bank after she finished school, McAndrew realized that she had a higher calling, and it was modeling, not law enforcement, that lay in her future.

Moving to London, McAndrew aggressively shopped her look around. It was The Daily Starnewspaper that first put her on its front cover. Not much time passed before other publications were asking about this new face, and, after entertaining a few other offers, McAndrew took on her first big job as the real-life representation of the video game character, Lara Croft.

Following in the footsteps of such established models as Rhona Mitra, McAndrew toured as the Tomb Raider heroine for over a year, attracting attention at conventions and in print. This experience was regarded by McAndrew as invaluable, though a sour note was left after being denied the opportunity to appear at the British movie premiere of Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie. After all, McAndrew was partly responsible for making Lara Croft the cult figure she is. "Dressing up like Lara Croft was my job between 1996 and 1997. Being the real life version of the character took me all over the world to promote Tomb Raider 3."

In 1999, she served as co-host of the entertaining British game show, It's a Knockout. The hosting job lasted two seasons while ratings remained high. At the same time, McAndrew served as a VJ on VH1's Spice, continuing to beat down the stigma that Lara Croft models' careers go downhill once the gig is up.

Even fashion companies, Triumph lingerie and Adidas both included her in ad campaigns, with the former signing her on as a spokeswoman. Even Jockey underwear took up business with her, but that went under the radar as her Playboy cover in 1999 made headlines. She became the first British woman in over 30 years to get a cover spot on the popular men's publication. Zest magazine voted Brad Pitt and Nell McAndrew the fittest celebrities on the planet!

Ever the active woman, McAndrew flattered fellow celebrities as she became an entertainment reporter for The Big Breakfast, another British show where she tried out beauty treatments, interviewed celebrities and I shared her fitness tips. During this time, she graced the covers of Loaded and Front as well. With little rest after a grueling adventure Down Under, McAndrew toured around while promoting her new calendar and then settled down to film an exercise video, which was a project she had always wanted to do. Called 'Nell McAndrew's Peak Energy', the DVD has sold solidly since its UK release in late 2002.

Since than Nell released two more fitness videos: 'Maximum Impact' and 'Ultimate Challenge, Ultimate Results'. She also appeared in the first series of 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here'. In 2003 Nell McAndrew hosted the MOBO Unsung Awards, was voted The Yorkshire Woman of The Year and also won a Yorkshire Young Achiever Award. In 2004 Nell was part of the Torch Relay to launch the Olympics She is also Ariel Tennis Ace Initiative to encourage young people to become involved in tennis.

Supporting charities is very important to Nell. She likes to visit Armed Forces to boost morale for the troops, contributes a lot to the Support Our Soldiers charity, and have been named the 'Forces Sweetheart'. Her visits have included the HMS Ark Royal, several bases in Northern Ireland, Germany and all over the UK. She also raised a lot of money for numerous organizations (Cancer Research UK, The Lymphoma Association, NCH, Help The Aged, SSAFA, British Heart Foundation) by taking part in various campaigns and even marathons (I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here, London Marathon, Playtex Moonwalk, Leeds Abbey Dash, 'Drink Milk', Mending Broken Hearts, The Sun newspaper). For her generosity and contribution to society the Queen of England expressed Nell her gratitude and invited her to Buckingham Palace for The Not Forgotten Society Garden Party.

How did you get the part of Lara Croft?
I attended a casting session with a number of other models.

Did you know anything about Lara and Tomb Raider before?
Yes, I had actually played the game a little before the casting. I had also seen Lara Croft on the front covers of lots of magazines.

How do you feel about representing a digital character?
Very excited! Lara Croft is such a tough, sexy character - why wouldn't I want to be her? She's larger than life and I'm proud to think that I've been chosen to play her part.

Do you think you have much in common with Lara?
Yes. I'm very independent and I love sports Ð running, boxing etc. I have an athletic build like Lara and I've also got a rather large chest... though not quite as big as Lara's!!! I also love a challenge.

Do you think Lara is a positive role model to today's young women? If so, why?
Yes, I do think Lara is a positive model - it's great to see a woman so powerful, independent and tough, yet still sexy. I really think that Lara gives women inspiration to go out and get what they want. She's a real no-nonsense character!

What's the best thing about being Lara Croft?
Being Lara makes me feel powerful and confident, and the reaction I've had from people so far makes me feel really popular, even loved! It's a real pleasure to meet all the fans who support Lara - they're so dedicated to her!

What are your aspirations for the future?
The main thing for me is to be successful and happy. I haven't decided exactly what I want to do just yet Ð I'm taking each day as it comes (a bit like Lara!). I love meeting all Lara's fans so I'll be more than happy to carry on doing that!

What are your favourite leisure activities?
I love sports: running, cycling and going to the gym, and I'm hoping to take a course in rock climbing soon! When I'm not feeling quite so active I enjoy the cinema and eating out but every now and then I'll let my hair down and have a mad clubbing night out.

Why did you get your head shaved?
Because I'm crazy! I've always wanted to do it - just to see what it looks like.I guess I wanted to change my image from my previous "Marilyn Monroe" look. Quite a drastic change - it'll be fun to show the pictures to my grandchildren!

Lara's a bit of a globetrotter - have you visited many countries yourself?
Yes Ð quite a few, including Japan, America, Lebanon, Italy, France and Spain.

What's been your favourite job so far and why?
Lara Croft of course! I also really enjoyed my time as a hostess on the TV game show "Man Oh Man", hosted by Chris Tarrant.

How did you start your modelling career - did you always want to be a model?
I was quite interested in seeing if I had what it takes to be a professional model, so I went to see a model agency in Manchester who took me on their books. That was a few years ago and it took a long time to build up regular work and a decent portfolio, but I didn't give up. Before that I was working in a bank. After my first taste of modelling I knew that I didn't want to go back!

Lara's got rather large breasts, a tiny waist and very long legs - do you think that men are attracted to Lara simply because of the way she looks?
No... not just because she looks great, although those vital statistics do help - well initially anyway! I think men really fall in love with Lara because she's so versatile - there's nothing she won't attempt, or at least try. She doesn't let anything get in her way and I think a lot of men really like women to be strong in character as well as the physical side of things.

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