Gemma Atkinson quits sexy shoots for Hollywood

LONDON: Sexy Gemma Atkinson has vowed to quit raunchy modelling shoots - to help her crack Hollywood.

The former Hollyoaks blonde, 24, had become a fixture in lads' mags by flaunting her 36E curves in bikinis.

But she admitted that her sexy modelling shots have slashed her chances of finding good acting roles.

She told TV Biz: "I am not doing any shoots this year.

"I finished Hollyoaks, which was amazing, but I don't want to do soap again - I want the next step up."

Gemma - who has modelled for lingerie brand Ultimo - said she is now attempting to make sure people don't think of her just as a soap actress.

The beauty from Bury, Greater Manchester, has even had elocution lessons to dampen her Northern accent.

She said: "You can't just expect to have done a Channel 4 soap and become a movie star, so I have had to start all over again.

"I made a decision to take a year out from the modelling. I wanted to audition and take acting classes - I want to start afresh. I have been coming down to London to meet with my acting coach and to have elocution lessons. Then I went to the States and worked over there.

"I think the lads' mags might have been a bit disappointed. I will still do my calendar, which is different, as it's my own styling, my own team."

Gemma - who has always refused to go topless - has won a role in London's West End, in Calendar Girls, which opened this week.

She plays a beautician called Elaine in the stage show based on the Brit flick - but even then she does not strip off like her co-stars.

Being back in Britain means she can see her fella, Liam Richards - a finalist on last year's Britain's Got Talent with martial arts act Strike.

Down-to-earth Gemma said: "I've never been this happy in any relationship. Liam's from Sheffield so we have the same northern sense of humour and family background.

"No airs and graces - he's a typical Yorkshire lad, which I love."

It's a far cry from when she dated former Man Utd ace Cristiano Ronaldo. She said: "With Cristiano it was mad, because everywhere he went he was followed by photographers.

"When we did split up I got offered so much money to speak about him and I didn't want that."

And she lashed out at the wannabe-WAGS culture. Gemma said: "For a lot of these girls it's the money that attracts them - not even the job.

"It's really shallow."