EXCLUSIVE

Peaches Geldof was in early talks to join <i>Australia's Next Top Model</i>.

Peaches Geldof was in early talks to join Australia's Next Top Model. Photo: Getty Images

Peaches Geldof, the 25-year-old television presenter and former model who died last week, was in preliminary talks to join the talent search show Australia's Next Top Model.

Fairfax understands Geldof was one of several candidates considered for a role with the upcoming ninth season of the show.

In an interview with Britain's Sunday Times newspaper, which was conducted earlier this year but only published this week, Geldof said she was looking forward to moving to Australia for three months to work on an unnamed TV project.

"I can't say what it is yet, but I'll be there for three months," she told the newspaper. "Of course [my children] will come with me because obviously I wouldn't leave them for that long."

The project she was referring to was a role with Australia's Next Top Model as a judge.

Fairfax understands Geldof was not considered a replacement for Charlotte Dawson, who was a model mentor as well as a judge on the program. Dawson quit her role with the series in January.

Shortly after Geldof gave the interview to The Sunday Times, however, plans for the ninth series of Top Model were delayed until later this year.

No contract was ever signed, and Fairfax understands there were approximately a half-dozen potential candidates being considered.

Foxtel's director of television Brian Walsh confirmed to Fairfax that only preliminary discussions had taken place.

"Peaches was one of a number of names suggested but we took the decision that it was too soon to make any calls," he said. "The idea was not progressed beyond an initial stage."

Dawson announced she was quitting television last September, saying she was "tired of the anxiety that comes with working in media. The graceful thing, the dignified thing, is to walk away."

Dawson confirmed in January she had no plans to return to Top Model, citing "a change of heart" via her Twitter account.

The 47-year-old New Zealand-born star took her own life in February, after a public battle with depression.

In the wake of that tragedy, Foxtel's management decided to delay production of the new season until later this year, to give Dawson's colleagues and friends time to grieve.

As a prominent presence in Britain's entertainment and fashion world, Geldof, who was the second daughter of musician Bob Geldof and writer and television presenter Paula Yates, would have been ideally qualified for a role with the series.

Geldof had worked as a writer for the fashion magazine Elle, and modelled professionally; she had also, at various times, been the "face" of several fashion labels, notably the Australian label Dotti and the British labels Ultimo and Agent Provocateur.

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