MEET the teenage beauty queen hoping to put Sunderland on the map at Miss England.
Sixth-form student Philippa Attle, 17, was named as Miss Sunderland 2011 in front of a packed house at Rainton Meadows Arena.
The Park View Community School pupil, from Chester-le-Street, was entered into the annual contest by her mum and said she never expected to win.
Philippa, who is sponsored by Collinson jewellers, said: “I feel so overwhelmed, I’m on top of the world. I’m so humbled by it. It’s amazing to be crowned Miss Sunderland and to be representing my home city at the Miss England finals.”
Judges faced a tough decision choosing from the 30 finalists in Friday night’s Las Vegas-themed final, which raised more than £11,000 for the Grace House Hospice Appeal.
Reigning Miss England Jessica Linley joined Mr England, Vaughan Bailey, and outgoing Miss Sunderland Tamzin Cummings, among others, on the judging panel.
She said: “Philippa is very humble which makes her a good candidate as you don’t want someone who walks on the catwalk knowing they are going to win.
“She is also very natural, she’s not all fake eyelashes and fake tan. I think she stands a good chance at Miss England.”
Last year’s Miss Sunderland, Tamzin, 20, from Ashbrooke, was the city’s most successful winner yet, coming fourth in Miss England and winning the photogenic round in World Miss University, held in South Korea.
Tamzin said: “I’ve had a great year and I wouldn’t change a thing. I loved Philippa in the heats round. She’s a natural beauty with a lovely, angelic, innocent look.”
Second place was awarded to Esther Mumbi Masisi, 20, from High Barnes, with Katie Ford, 22, from Yarm, third.
Performances on the night came from The Chippendoubles from Britain’s Got Talent and The Reason 4 who just missed out on a place in the live round of the X Factor.
The night also saw the crowning of the first Mr North East. The male pageant was started by the organisers of Miss Sunderland in a bid to get a man from the region into the Mr England final, which takes place on the same night as Miss England in July.
Winner Nathanial Smith, 22, from Gateshead, said: “It feels so good, I’m lost for words. I never expected to win, but I want to put the North East on the map.”
As well as representing Sunderland at Miss England, Philippa is now the Face of the Bridges and has won a stack of prizes including a modelling contract with GlamRus models and a portfolio with Scott Spock Photography.
Miss Sunderland organiser Simon Robertson from One Voice Productions said: “This is the first time we’ve had a blonde Miss Sunderland and she is a great winner. She has a lovely personality and is such a sweet girl. I think she will bring something different to Miss England.”