COULD the next Miss England hail from Wearside?
A businesswoman has taken over the Miss Sunderland contest in a bid to get a local woman crowned as the nation’s top beauty queen.
For the past three years Jodie Breeds has been running the Miss 24 Carat heat of Miss England, which is named after her Grangetown salon.
Jodie, from Fulwell, says it’s given her the experience needed to start running Miss Sunderland.
She has just returned from this year’s Miss England with Miss 24 Carat 2014, Ashley Robertson, 23.
“Miss England is such a fantastic event and it was such a shame to not have a Miss Sunderland there this year so I applied for the licence,” she said.
“I’ve been running Miss 24 Carat, which has been fantastic, but this is the next step up.
“I think Sunderland has a really great chance of producing the next Miss England. Every time I’ve run a heat, the standard has got higher and higher. The girls from the North East heats are always so glamorous, they put their heart and soul into it. They do everything they can to raise money for the charity round and to represent their city well.”
She added: “I think attitudes have changed towards beauty pageants. They’re not just about looks, the girls have to have personality as well.”
Entries are now open for Miss Sunderland 2015 and successful applicants will be given coaching by Laura Coleman, who was crowned Miss England in 2008.
Reigning Miss 24 Carat Ashley said competing in Miss England, which features around 60 finalists from across the country, was a great opportunity.
Although she missed out on the top crown at this month’s final, she raised £2,000 for charity, was in the top three for the talent round and came second in the bootcamp round.
“It was incredible,” she said. “It was really great to meet all the girls who had put in as much effort as me for the contest. I was first out on the catwalk and I was really excited to just get out there and see the smiles on the judges’ faces.”
Washington model Beth Hopper was first runner up in this year’s Miss 24 Carat and judges liked her so much they asked her to compete in the semi-finals for Miss England 2015, meaning Jodie could have a Miss 24 Carat and a Miss Sunderland strutting their stuff on the Miss England catwalk next summer.
l Entrants to Miss Sunderland need to be 17-24, unmarried, with no children, in keeping with the Miss England regulations. To enter email firstname.lastname@example.org.