A woman who gave up her normal job as a hairdresser now jets around the world interviewing celebrities and modelling for the likes of ASOS.

Rikaya Tagoe, from Toxteth, used to work as a hairdresser for Herbert's however is now a global model and presenter.

The University graduate with a BA Honours Degree in Psychology, was crowned Miss Black Britain 2009 from a whopping 4000 applicants.

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She said her older sister Chantelle Heskey encouraged her to enter the competition as a teenager and now she models across the world for brans like Etsy, Tesco, ASOS and New Age Rebel, among others.

Rikaya told the ECHO: “Winning the competition gave me a taste for modelling and showbiz and a great platform to break into the industry."

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The model moved to London shortly after graduating from Liverpool Hope University to pursue her career, which was not what she always wanted to do.

Rikaya, who has also worked in real estate, beauty and hospitality said: "When I was a kid I always wanted to be a dancer. Our Dance group performed at a carnival to Michael Jackson and we wore one glove, I've still got pictures somewhere. They were good times".

In London Rikaya's career naturally progressed from modelling into presenting and her first big presenting job was as host for International comedian and film star, Kevin Hart, while he took his WhatNow tour across Europe.

Rikaya Tagoe, Liverpool 8 girl to global model and presenter
Rikaya Tagoe, Liverpool 8 girl to global model and presenter

She said: "I interviewed the audience after each show and sometimes Kevin too, it was wild.

"It was my first big presenting job and I was absolutely petrified. Not to mention it was with Kevin Hart and such a big production.

"My first day I had to interview Kevin on stage in front of 16,000 applauding fans, I was shaking. No idea how I pulled it off.

"The best and worst moment of my career so far, but in the most brilliant way".

Since then she has worked with many renowned brands, artists and productions, such as; behind the scenes host at the 2018 National Film Awards held in London, official co-host at the 2019 Urban Music Awards also in London, and starred in Love at First Bite commercial with boxing champion Anthony Joshua in 2020.

Rikaya, the red rose of Liverpool 8
Rikaya Tagoe

She said: "On Love at First Bite myself and two other ladies had to cook a dish each for AJ, he tasted each dish and decided which was his fave, the winner then went on a date with him. My dish won and I ended up on a date. It was epic! Definitely one to remember".

Rikaya said being a Scouser has also helped with her interviews as "Scousers have a natural warmth about us and we can naturally get along with almost anyone, so all of my interviews have been a real buzz, a proud perk of being a Scouser."

During her career as a model and presenter Rikaya has flown to Lagos Nigeria to model for Arise Fashion Week and also modelled in a fashion show onboard a super yacht in Dubai.

She said her tips to other people wanting to break into the field would be to get a porfolio together to be able to apply to agencies and castings.

And she has a big wish for her future.

She added: "I would love to fly to the States and host at the Oscars/Grammys or something like that.

"All of those red carpet interviews, my absolute dream!

Rikaya’s Mother Sharon Tagoe said: “Rikaya has always been a hard worker, from her first job in Herbert’s hairdressers at 15 to the talented, successful young lady she is now. Myself and her father couldn’t be more proud”.

Meanwhile Rikaya added: I’m just a normal girl from Toxteth and I will always keep in touch with my childhood friends.

"It’s nice to meet and mix with celebs but friends and family are always there to keep you grounded and I love that. Wouldn’t change them for the world."