VIDEO: Jen Hawkins next top TV presenter

FORMER Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins expects to feel empathetic for the budding models in her new role as host of Australia’s Next Top Model.

The Holmesville-raised beauty entered Newcastle beauty pageants before shooting to fame by winning Miss Universe in 2004.

She now has her own shoe line and swimwear label as well being the ambassador for retail giant Myer.

‘‘I hope to give the girls some advice, from the commercial side of the business to catwalk and working with great photographers,’’ Hawkins said.

‘‘The show will certainly mix things up for me and I’m better when I’m busy.’’

Hawkins was a former host on The Great Outdoors for Channel 7 before switching networks to join Channel 9’s Getaway team as a guest reporter last year.

Top Model marks her return to television in a major hosting role.

For a gallery featuring Jennifer Hawkins, click here.

Hawkins replaces Sarah Murdoch who hosted the show for three seasons (2009-2011) before bowing out.

Since then the producers have struggled to find the right replacement and the series was shelved in 2011.

‘‘I’ve got big shoes to fill. Sarah was amazing,’’ Hawkins said.

Hawkins will be the fourth host in eight seasons. Previous hosts were Erika Heynatz, Jodhi Meares and Murdoch.

Filming for the eighth series of Australia’s Next Top Model will commence in January.

The 28-year-old is the second Hunter identity to be linked with the show.

Newcastle model Gemma Sanderson won the first series of Australia’s Next Top Model in 2005.

She is represented by Next Model Management in New York and based in London. She has shot campaigns for Marcs Baby Doll, Sachi and Lancome, and has graced the covers of Elle, Maxim and Grazia. 

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