Meet the new Lara Croft

She used to work in Top Shop.

With just a few months to go until Tomb Raider: Legend hits the shelves, hopefully, Lara's latest real life incarnation has been unveiled to the world.

20 year-old Londoner Karima Adebibe, a "self-confessed tomboy" who formerly worked as a Top Shop sales assistant, has been chosen as the new face of Lara Croft - following in the footsteps of Rhona Mitra, Nell McAndrew, Angelina Jolie and the other ones.

She will now embark on a "gruelling training programme" which will include an SAS survival course and learning how to fire guns in Eastern Europe. Adebibe will also undergo crash courses in archaeology, deportment, elocution and etiquette, and spend lots of time posing for photos in very small clothes.

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"This is an incredible opportunity for me and one which I plan to grasp with both hands," said Adebibe.

"It's a huge challenge to follow in the footsteps of people like Nell McAndrew and Angelina Jolie, but life is all about challenges and this is perhaps the biggest one for a model and actress."

Adebibe described Lara as "the epitome of British class, beauty and strength - she's an independent and ambitious female version of Indiana Jones. Lara has been created to fulfill the ultimate fantasy character for both men and women."

Like Lara, Adebibe likes travelling, having adventures and doing sports. "I also liken myself to Lara with my dry sense of humour, I think we like to give our men a hard time!"

Tomb Raider was one of the first games Adebibe ever played, but she doesn't get much time to have a go these days what with all the SAS training and archaeology exams. Her family are dead pleased she's won the role of Lara Croft: "Well my dad LOVES it and my sisters are envious! I've become strangely popular within my family and friends lately, I wonder why?"

Eidos bigwig Matt Gorman described Adebibe as "the 7th and most important Lara Croft yet," adding: "Karima has all the assets needed to accurately portray the world's favourite female action hero."

Tomb Raider: Legend is out on PC, PS2 and Xbox on April 11th, with PSP and Xbox 360 versions to follow soon after.

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