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Model agent eyes new talent after he loses top 'Assets' to rival Andrea

He is the Godfather of Ireland's model talent.

Many wouldn't recognise Derek Daniels, super agent to the most photographed girls in town, but he has made the careers of Rosanna Davison, Glenda Gilson, Andrea Roche and Georgia Salpa.

And through his 22-year career he has seen it all.

Cat fights between models over rugby players, body-conscious girls locking themselves in toilets in floods of tears at photo shoots, a young model with a crippling eating disorder and plastic surgery gone wrong.

He describes a number of models as "destroying" their faces with lip injections and says breast implants are "as common as brushing your teeth" in today's industry.

And although famously publicity-shy, this week the Assets owner has moved to hit back at the "fabricated bullshit" around the transfer of several of his models from his agency to a rival business set up by a former model on his books, Andrea Roche.

"I've been in this business 22 years and I've tried to avoid rows and bitchiness but I'm sick of hearing all this fabricated bullsh*t," he says.

Speaking about the departure of big names, including Rosanna Davison, Pippa O'Connor and most recently Georgia Salpa, he laments: "I wish her the best of luck but what goes around comes around and at the end of the day Andrea is only open eight months. It's a long road and she has a lot of promises to live up to. If the girls aren't happy the door is always open.

"Of course it's very disappointing when you build models up to what they are and then they walk away. I was shocked when Georgia left to be honest. Andrea now has to come up with the goods. She's under huge pressure to live up to her promises.

"The type of work that they do, press launches and press calls, you can fall from grace in an instant. In this business you can be brought to your knees overnight.

"Georgia was only one of hundreds of models on my books and this industry is all about new people.

"She came to us four years ago when no one had a clue who she was and as quick as Georgia came along, the next girl is going to walk through our doors too. And it's our job to find them. Trust me, we're already looking.

"Still, if things don't work out with the girls at Andrea's new agency, we would welcome them all back with open arms," he smiled.

Speaking about fallouts between models in the industry, he said: "I've never encouraged the models to hang out together because it's a recipe for disaster.

"The work is so competitive and it's all about how you look and when one girl is chosen over another, well let's just say some people take that more personally than others."

And commenting on the recent penchant for cosmetic surgery in the business, with some of the models even indulging in 'lip injection parties' he said: "A couple of them look like their faces are about to explode if their lips get any bigger, it's hideous. The girls are silly getting this stuff put in their bodies when they're so young. Boob jobs -- well they are as common now as brushing your teeth."

Speaking about the new talent coming through his doors he said: "We're already training them up and they're finishing off their portfolios. We have some brilliant girls who you'll be seeing a lot more of over the coming year. The competition between Ireland's models is about to get a lot tougher."

Sunday Independent