I was one of the UK's top models… now I'm rubbing shoulders with Erling Haaland and Pep Guardiola working for Man City | The Sun
NATALIE PIKE swapped the world of modelling and became one of the top sports broadcasters.
Previously as one of the UK's top models, she made the jump after landing the role to showcase Manchester City's new kit for the 2008/09 season.
She had been a regular fixture in magazines such as FHM.
Natalie is now recognised as the voice of the club's Match Day Live and City Square Live broadcasts.
She has also built up an impressive list of people she has interviewed.
From the likes of famous fans such as Oasis stars Liam and Noel Gallagher and the club's Pep Guardiola and Erling Haaland.
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Natalie was a fan of the Citizens during her youth and got her first season ticket to watch the club when she was 15.
She would head down to Maine Road to watch the club compete in the third tier of English football, well before the successful team that regularly picks up trophies in more recent times.
She told the Daily Star: "I modelled full time for eight or nine years after I and won the FHM High Street Honeys competition, which was huge for me.
"I got a bit tired of the modelling world and gave it up for a normal job, shortly after that City got in contact and it just started as a hobby for home games.
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"I was still working my normal job and doing charity fundraising, so it started of as a nice distraction.
"The club had known me after asking me to model the new kit, which must've been in about 2008, I was on the cover of the magazine and that was the greatest thing that had ever happened to me at that point!
"I always felt more of a natural presenter than a natural model but I had been just rolling with opportunities. I used to go on red carpets and things for FHM but nothing in sport.
"City asked if I wanted to join the team and we work on a big stage outside the stadium with guests and music with giveaways.
"It started just on home games alongside my full-time job until COVID hit the world, which is when I started doing the Match Day Live show and the numbers on that are ridiculous, into the millions around the world.
"Now I do home games in the stadium and away games I do the Match Day Live show in a purpose-built studio in the Etihad because City always do things to the next level."
Natalie qualified from university with a degree in film and media studies, which has become handy as she also works with BBC Radio Manchester.
Despite becoming a veteran in the field with over a decade's experience, she still gets excited when talking to the stars of football.
The former model also spoke with the cast of hit TV show Ted Lasso after one game at the Etihad Stadium.
She added: "With the players, you just get the sense of how intelligent they all are and how strong the bond is that they have between them.
"With Erling Haaland from his very first interview, you had a sense of what he was about and had a feeling about how good he was going to be.
"He has the connection with the club through his dad Alfie, and he knew exactly what to say to get the fans roaring. Whenever I've seen him since you feel this presence around him which might be because he's so tall.
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"With Pep, he's so humble and kind. He remembers your name and your situation. I bumped into him in the city centre before and he stopped and had time to talk to me.
"I was heading down to the pitch last year when Ilkay Gundogan won us the title and I missed the goal. Pep had seen my tweet and mentioned it during the parade."
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