Seaham bodybuilding mum wins Miss World

Miss World body builder Lesley Blanchard
Miss World body builder Lesley Blanchard
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A BODYBUILDING mum has lifted the title of Miss World.

Lesley Blanchard has added the accolade to a host of other honours after just three years in the sport.

The 37-year-old, from Seaham, travelled to the World Championships in Rome, beating 40 others to win the Miss World International Bodybuilding and Fitness Championship.

She also scooped first place in the Ms Shape challenge out of 11 competitors, and the over-35s category.

Lesley, who was supported at the competition by fiancé Bruce McCall, 46, owner of the gym which takes his name in Vane Terrace, Seaham, now qualifies for Miss Universe, which will be held next June.

It will be the second time she will join its competitors.

Lesley said of her Miss World win: “It was just one big whirlwind. I couldn’t take it all in.

“It was only when I spoke to my daughter on the phone that tears came into my eyes.

“It was just really overwhelming.

“I thought I was going to exceed my luggage allowance on the way back with the trophies.”

The wins follow on from months of training and following a strict diet of salad, fish, turkey, rice and nuts.

Lesley allowed herself a treat on her return home to Seaham and her daughters Hope, 16, and Abbeyjo, 13, and Bruce’s sons Jake, 13, and Clay, 20.

She added: “My family were just buzzing, and the girls made me a cake and a card for when I got back.

“The competition was total different there to how it was back home.

“Here it can be quite bitchy.

“Over there, people were asking for photos and wanting to know about you and that was really nice and friendly.”

Bruce said: “I’m so proud of her, especially as she’s only been doing this for three-and-a-half-years. She just walked it.”

Lesley, who is originally from Grangetown and works in the gym alongside Bruce as a personal trainer, also recently won titles at the Central of Britain and Yorkshire Classics Miss Figure contests.

She added: “I’m just going to keep on going and enter into others after putting so much into it, and while I’m in a good condition and feel good.”

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham