Brandon beats the rest to be voted Sunderland’s bonniest bairn

Suynderland Echo Bonny Baby winner Brandon Walton, of Pennygate Square, Pennywell, Sunderland.

Suynderland Echo Bonny Baby winner Brandon Walton, of Pennygate Square, Pennywell, Sunderland.

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MEET Brandon Walton – Sunderland’s bonniest baby.

Hundreds of readers picked up the phone to vote in this year’s Echo Bonny Babies contest.

Suynderland Echo Bonny Baby winner Brandon Walton, of Pennygate Square, Pennywell, Sunderland.

Suynderland Echo Bonny Baby winner Brandon Walton, of Pennygate Square, Pennywell, Sunderland.

But with 468 votes, Brandon pipped the other finalists to the post.

The three-year-old, from Pennywell, was shortlisted for being a natural in front of the camera and has won a canvas print and £100.

“To win overall is brilliant,” said proud mum Elaine.

“I always thought the older babies would win as they are cuter.”

Elaine said Brandon is chuffed with his success.

“He was very surprised to see himself in the paper last week. He keeps showing it to everybody.

“I’m going to keep all the Echoes to show him when he’s older.”

She added: “All his friends and family have been voting for him.

“I put it on Facebook too to let people know he was in the final.

“He seems to be a natural in front of the camera. It doesn’t faze him.

“They have a competition in Wilkinson’s too and he’s won his category in that twice.”

Brandon was the winner of the 36 months to five years category in our Bonny Babies competition.

In the final, he went head to head with one-year-old Holly Mitchinson, from Town End Farm, who won the 0-18 months category, and two-year-old Mitchell Lay, from Downhill, who won the 18 months to three years category.

They will also be awarded runners-up prizes of a canvas print and a cash prize.

We launched Bonny Babies 2011 back in August, and were inundated with entries.

Photographers were in Debenhams for a fortnight and took nearly 600 photos.

A judging panel at the Echo then whittled down the entrants to 20 in each category who appeared in the paper.

From there, readers voted for their category winners and then their overall winner.

James Burrell, regional promotions manager for Northeast Press, said: “This is the biggest number of entrants we’ve had in the past few years.

“Bonny Babies has been going for so long now, it’s become an institution.

“When we were judging the final 60 we were looking for happy, smiley faces.

“Then it’s been up to the readers to choose their favourite.”

Twitter:@sunechokaty