McAndrew started her modeling career as a catalogue and magazine model and as Marilyn Monroe lookalike. She was required to shave her head for a modeling assignment in Germany. In the UK she was featured as a Page Three girl in the Daily Star. She shot to fame as the Lara Croft model for the video game Tomb Raider between 1998 and 1999. McAndrew was fired from her stint as Croft in 1999 after posing nude for the cover of Playboy, the first British woman to do so. This was partly due to the fact Playboy printed references to Lara Croft and Tomb Raider on the cover, which were removed when Eidos, the maker of the game, threatened a lawsuit.
She has since enjoyed a successful career as a glamour model, appearing in FHM, Maxim, and Loaded many times. She has appeared in fitness magazines, including Shape and Personal Trainer. McAndrew has released many popular calendars.
McAndrew, affectionately referred to as a Forces Sweetheart, has visited the UK Armed Forces at bases all over the world.
She has had a television career as a presenter on Racing Rivals, Born to Fight, It's a Knockout and The Big Breakfast. She has been a contestant on the reality TV show I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! Celebrities under Pressure, Family Fortunes and Dancing On Ice.
Her first fitness video, Peak Energy (2002), became a best seller. It was followed up by Maximum Impact in December 2003 and Ultimate Challenge, Ultimate Results in December 2004.
In 2003 she was voted the Yorkshire Woman of the Year and won Rear of the Year in 2005.
She has been part of a number of PR campaigns for Yorkshire Water, including a digital version of herself in their Sewer Raider item on the company website.
She is currently fronting an advertising campaign for Activia Yoghurt, and for 2009 had her hair cut very short, returning to the look she had at the start of her modeling career.
In January 2009, Nell helped Benenden Healthcare Society, a mutual not-for-profit healthcare organisation, launch their "Fresh Start, Get on Track" campaign, appearing in nationwide radio interviews and online webchats.
Running in the 2005 London Marathon as a charity runner, McAndrew completed the event in a time that allowed her to start with the elite athletes in future events In the 2007 Marathon, she completed the course at a more sedate pace with her mother (after having recently given birth).
For the 2008 Great North Run, she competed with the Fun Runners dressed as Wonder Woman to help raise funds for charities.
Her time in the 2009 Flora London Marathon was 3:10.20.
Her time in the 2010 Bupa Great North run was 1:26.30.
Family and personal life
She has a two brothers and one sister. Her father, Ted, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2003; he is currently in remission.
After announcing their engagement in September 2004, she married property developer Paul Hardcastle twice - first in November 2004 in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England, then again at a marriage blessing in December 2004 in Dubai. McAndrew gave birth to a baby boy called Devon, in Leeds, on 24 August 2006.
In March 2009 she revealed that she was still breastfeeding her son, even though he was almost three, and talked about the criticisms she was receiving for this practice.
McAndrew has supported charities including Breast Cancer Awareness, Help The Aged, the British Heart Foundation, DebRA, Cancer Research UK, The Lymphoma Association and SSAFA.
McAndrew took part in a training session for a charity race in which she wore little more than body paint. Launching the Cancer Research UK Race for Life 2008 in London's Regent's Park, she joined a group of other women whose training outfits were painted on their bodies.
Nell McAndrew is running for Alzheimer's Society in the Bupa Great North Run in Newcastle on 19 September 2010.