A TEENAGER from Oxford is lighting up the small screen in the hope of following in the high-heeled footsteps of Kate Moss.

Sophie Sumner, a former Cherwell School pupil, is battling it out on the fifth series of reality TV show Britain’s Next Top Model in a bid to emulate fellow Oxford catwalk stars Yasmin Le Bon and former Wheatley Park School pupil Laura Bailey.

Nineteen-year-old Miss Sumner, who also attended the Manor Prep School in Abingdon and Headington School, said: “Entering the competition came out of the blue.

“ I always wanted to be a vet when I was about five, but I was always dressing up in mum’s heels and shuffling around the house.

“My fashion sense was terrible at school, but I’ve got into it more recently. I suppose that all changes when you move to secondary school. Now I really love it.”

Having gained two As and a B at A Level, Miss Sumner, who worked in the Kukui nightclub and Tootsies restaurant in Oxford, decided against going to Exeter University to study drama in favour of entering the competition.

Filming has ended, although the contestants are sworn to secrecy over who scooped a contract with Models 1 and a cover shoot with Company magazine.

Miss Sumner, who cites Unicorn in Ship Street as one of her favourite clothes shops, said: “Coming out of the show all the girls are still in contact and we are doing roadshows so we see each other every week.

“You are constantly being told it’s a competition so everyone sees each other as competitors, but we’ve come out as friends and we all went through something special together.

“I learnt a lot about myself, that I’m stronger than I thought and I’m better at handling pressure.”

Describing seeing herself on TV for the first time, she added: “It was awful. You’re always scrutinising yourself, wondering why you did that or said that.

“I told my closest friends but I got lots of texts and calls from people who were surprised to see me on TV or in Heat magazine. My friends have been amazing.

“On the roadshows it’s a bit strange that people you don’t know recognise you and call your name and ask for your autograph.”

Miss Sumner’s father Tim said: “We are very proud of her. She did it off her own bat. She just went for it and only told us once she had applied.

“It’s just amazing that she got on and she progresses. It’s very strange seeing her on TV.”

Lisa Snowden, the show’s host, said: “She’s very confident, knows what she wants and throws herself into everything head first. She’s got an interesting face with wide-apart eyes and a really beautiful jawline.”

Britain’s Next Top Model is on Living TV every Monday at 9pm. Some of the contestants are set to appear at Kukui, in Park End Street, Oxford, later this month.