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Leggy Penny gets the elbow

January 13, 2004
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She may have among the longest legs in the business, but that has not stopped curvaceous lingerie model Penny Lancaster getting the big e from her current underwear modelling contract. The squeeze of veteran rocker Rod Stewart has lost her £200,000-a-year contract with Ultimo for not being sufficiently famous.

"She simply isn't well known enough abroad," said an Ultimo insider of the 32-year-old blonde, whose leggy image is a popular fixture in British newspapers.

Penny, who negotiated her deal with Scots entrepreneur Michelle Malone and her Ultimo co-owner husband Michael in 2002, apparently wasn't the brand's first choice for the role. She came on board, however, after Liz Hurley, Julia Roberts and Kylie Minogue turned down offers.

Now among the UK's leading lingerie companies - a ranking achieved in large part due to its gel-filled bras - Ultimo is apparently looking for a more international "face". "We are looking for a star who is recognised around the globe – and we are going to be paying her a lot of money," says a source.

The firm's owner Michelle refused to be drawn on exactly who the company had in mind, saying only: "I don't want to say too much at this stage, but we will have a major figure working for us."

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According to Ultimo, 32-year old Pen is to be replaced by a more internationally recognisable figure

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