FOUR years ago I met Sarah Doukas, the owner of Storm model agency, in a record shop in Brighton, and she asked me if I wanted to be a model. I never thought much about my looks. I suppose I had more girlfriends than my friends, but it came as a shock to me. At first I wasn't really too sure about it, but you get more confident the longer you're in the business.

I've never had a picture taken of me in a compromising position. If I were the Prince of Wales I think I would be pretty pissed off. But his whole function is fame and media, so I think he's got less right than a normal, private citizen to be angry.

Before I started modelling, I didn't go to the gym. Now I go once or twice a week and lift a lot of light weights. I also play football three times a week. I have a sauna quite often, particularly if I've been drinking, because you sweat everything out. I don't have manicures or massages and I don't watch my diet at all. I'm the complete opposite to the Prince, I eat absolutely anything at any time. I eat a lot of curries and McDonald's, I'm ashamed to say, but I exercise a lot. I assume the Prince exercises, but if you think about it he must have a pretty rigorous lifestyle anyway - a lot of travelling. I go to Brixton Recreation Centre, but I've never seen him down there.

The best thing about the way I look is being able to make my living out of it - between pounds 50,000 and pounds 70,000 a year, which is a lot considering you don't need any qualifications to do the job and I'm only 26. Modelling is even more lucrative for girls - there are some making literally hundreds of thousands of pounds at 18 or 19. A big bonus is the phenomenal amount of travel. Before I started modelling I'd never been abroad, and within the first two months I'd been to Paris, Sri Lanka and Mexico.

Women appreciate a nice body. I hope I don't sound too big-headed, but I do get quite a lot of interest from women, more than other men I'd say. There have been numerous occasions when women have been very forward. Also, a couple of clients have asked me out after jobs. People find it strange when women do that, but I don't mind at all. I think women should know what they like, and if they like something they should say. I think everyone, whether you are a man or a woman, is judged on looks. The brain doesn't have to be outstanding if the looks are - people just have to be able to tolerate you. If someone is not so attractive they might have to have an exceptional personality. Although you can get away with having less of a personality with better looks, I like to think that people are after my brain.

When you are a model people always expect you to have a superior attitude and to think that you're really cool. To me modelling is just like any other job, and I try to play it down. I don't feel I have to make any special effort to look good all the time just because I am a model. When I go to a casting or I'm in modelling circles I've got some nice Armani or Agnes B clothes, but I still wear jeans when I go out. The problem is that if I go to my local pub, for example, everyone will say 'that's Rob the model', whereas before I was just Rob. You see people looking at you, comparing you. Quite a lot of blokes come up to me and say, quite aggressively: 'Why are you a model? You're not very good- looking.' It doesn't really worry me, I think it's their insecurity. I just agree and say, 'Yeah, it's a complete fluke.'

In a way I can sympathise with Charles, because as a model you've got no control over how tacky or tasteful a picture is. The photographer, stylist and advertisers have the control. If you go to work and they say 'Wear this fluffy pink G- string', there's not much you can do about it. I've done nude photos, but not with anything showing. I did them in Japan, so I don't think anyone's seen them over here. I know a lot of male models who have had to shave their chests, but I would refuse to shave.

When you are a model, people are always trying to make comparisons. People say I look like James Dean or Steve McQueen. I don't think I look like either of them. Modelling's a lot easier for men than women, because men are expected to look more rough. If I turn up for a shoot unshaven with a few bags under my eyes people will say: 'That's not too bad. Men aren't meant to look perfect.'

(Photograph omitted)