francoise is in the new issue of maxim out 26th feb,
* Article rank
* 1 Mar 2009
* Sunday Sun
* By KATY SIMPSON
DENIED BECAUSE I’M TOO BUSTY
SHE dreams of making it as an actress, but her shapely figure has its knockers among directors.
After a short spell in Byker Grove, and then presenting a children’s cookery show, busty Francoise Boufhal was forced to turn to lingerie modelling.
At audition after audition, she was told her 28H chest made her look too “glamorous” for the younger parts.
But now she has turned her assets to her advantage and is celebrating hitting the big-time, with her picture splashed across the front of men’s magazine, Maxim.
The 20-year-old, of Gosforth, Newcastle, has been selected to star as April’s cover-girl, ranking among the likes of Eva Mendes, football WAG Carly Zucker, and I’m a Celebrity star Nicola McLean.
The former Gosforth High School pupil is thrilled with her stellar rise in the world of modelling.
But she is determined to stick to her principles, not to take all her kit off, and has already turned down an offer to pose topless.
“They haven’t had a normal model on the front, whose not someone famous, for a couple of years,” said Francoise.
“For a little Geordie girl to be on it is quite a big deal. It’s really cool. But I still want to get back into TV.”
Her mum Suzy, 50, and dad Omar, 45, who owns a wholesale fruit and vegetable business and now lives in Blaydon, are both immensely proud of their only child’s achievements.
“They are both really proud, they know I just do underwear,” said Francoise, who was born in Hexham, Northumberland. “And they know it was proving impossible to get any work otherwise, because I’m only 5ft 5ins.
“I think now because I’m used to doing underwear I don’t see the body as rude anymore. I don’t see the dirty side.”
The ambitious actress has been working in theatre since the age of 10, and has starred in numerous productions at Newcastle’s Live Theatre, which put her forward for the Byker Grove role.
She featured in the children’s TV series, which propelled Ant and Dec to fame, as the character Ellie Baines — Stumpy’s girlfriend.
Francoise said: “I had been trying for Byker Grove since I was really young.
“I was only 11 or 12 when I got the part, and the other girls on it weren’t very nice to work with. I was meant to have another series, but then my character got moved to Australia . . . the worst way to go!
“I did a children’s cookery programme called Grubs, but that was cancelled.
“So I fell into modelling really. I stopped acting because every time I went in they said the same thing. I wasn’t 18 they couldn’t put me in the sexy roles.”
Francoise’s first major modelling contract was as the face of the MetroCentre’s birthday celebrations campaign in Gateshead last year.
It was the Maxim shoot which prompted her decision to move to London, but she desperately misses the North East.
“I think my mum is a bit worried about me being in London,” said Francoise. “I was travelling from Tyneside to go down to castings, but when I found out I got the Maxim job, I thought I had to move down there.
“It’s hard to come here from Tyneside, because everyone’s so London orientated, that no one cares about people outside.
“But I think I didn’t give them any choice, like a true Geordie, I didn’t let them ignore me!”
Printed and distributed by NewpaperDirect | , US/Can: 1.877.980.4040, Intern: 800.6364.6364 | Copyright and protected by applicable law.