Tyra Banks is coming home!
The creator of America’s Next Top Model will return as the show’s host after a two year hiatus. Banks will replace British singer Rita Ora, who took over hosting duties for cycle 23 from December 2016 to March 2017.
VH1 announced the news, which included a statement from the show’s executive producer Ken Mok. “Tyra has always been the heart and soul of the franchise and her absence was deeply felt by our fiercely loyal fans who missed their Queen of the Smize,” Mok said. “We’d like to thank Rita Ora for being a great partner and total pro. She infused this new iteration of ‘ANTM’ with passion and creativity and we wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavours.”
Banks, who presented the show for 12 consecutive years prior to her departure, was blown away by the support from her fans. “I’m overwhelmed and humbled by the intensity of the ‘ANTM’ fan base whose deep affection for the show led me to have a change of heart,” she said in a statement. “After giving it a lot of thought, I realized that remaining behind the camera wasn’t enough because ‘ANTM’ is woven into my DNA.”
Ora, 26, welcomed Banks back to the show after the latter shared love for Ora on Twitter.
@tyrabanks Thank you Tyra! Was such an honour and pleasure being on your show. Everyone welcome Tyra back!!
— Rita Ora (@RitaOra) March 16, 2017
Production for the next cycle of the popular reality television series is expected to start this summer.