Women In Sport: Jodie Kidd on becoming a racing driver

The television presenter and model opens up on entering the male-dominated world of motorsport.

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Across 2019 we have been speaking to women who have achieved success in their chosen field, sharing their stories on how and why they got to where they are, what it means to them to be a female role model, plus advice for any girls or women who dream of emulating them.

Jodie Kidd is a huge fan of sport, especially seeing it live.

It’s a passion she harboured as a child. Kidd’s father was an accomplished show-jumper and polo player, and her older brother Jack followed in his footsteps.

In the spirit of sibling rivalry, Jodie took up as many sports as she could and found she had a particular love for horse-riding and golf.

At the age of fifteen, her life was changed irrevocably when she was scouted by photographer Terry O’Neil on a Barbadian beach. O’Neil introduced her to modelling agent Laraine Ashton and a star was born.

Throughout the ’90s, Kidd would become one of the world’s most in-demand and highest-earning fashion models, walking the catwalk for designers such as Givenchy and Alexander McQueen, as well as appearing on the cover of Vogue.

Having called an end to her modelling career, Jodie followed her passion for motorsports, becoming a driver for Italian super-car manufacturers Maserati and competing on some of the most prestigious racetracks across the globe.

With a passion for the high octane lifestyle, the wider public would learn of Kidd’s talents behind the wheel when she appeared on BBC Top Gear’s Star In A Reasonably Priced Car segment in 2003. Racing a Suzuki Liana around the show’s test track, she topped the show’s leader-board.

Alongside motorsport, Jodie has enjoyed a wide-ranging presenting career and in 2017 became a pub landlord, taking over The Half Moon in West Sussex. She is also a golf player and self-proclaimed enthusiast, acting as an ambassador for the coveted Ryder Cup.

In the interview above, Jodie explains what challenges she faced to become a race car driver, and a highly respected voice in the world of sport, and what advice she’d give to girls who find themselves competing in a male-dominated world.

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