PRETTY Holly Lyons is hoping she has was it takes to be a roaring success for England.
The 18-year-old, from Easington Colliery, is in the final stages of preening and preparation for this year’s Miss England final.
She will compete in the final in Leicester on June 25 and 26 as Miss 24 Carat after winning a qualifying title for the national pageant run by 24 Carat salon in Grangetown, Sunderland.
Holly, who attends Byron Sixth Form College in Peterlee, will be one of 60 finalists to compete in the country’s biggest beauty pageant which includes beach body, Mauritius-themed, evening wear and environmentally-friendly rounds.
“I can’t wait to go to Miss England,” said Holly. “I’m really excited to take part in the rounds, especially the eco-dress round and to meet all the other girls.
“I’d be shocked if I won the overall title. I’d probably collapse, but I’d be so chuffed.”
Holly won her regional title at a final at the Stadium of Light in April where she impressed judges, including former Sunderland AFC player Micky Gray, with her confidence.
Holly said: “I’ve had a really positive response since winning Miss 24 Carat.
“Everyone’s been lovely and so supportive. I’ve been given the chance to do some really fun things like a bridal shoot and appearing in the paper.”
Businesswoman Jodie Breeds, who owns Miss 24 Carat, said: “We’ve been busy since Holly won Miss 24 Carat, making her eco-dress and we hosted a charity night at the Roker Hotel.
“We’re also getting her dress ready for the evening wear round from Solo in Grangetown which she won as part of her prize.
“I think she will do really well in the final.
“She has had a lot of pageant experience and she’s relaxed, nothing fazes her. It’s her dream to go to Miss England.”
Miss England, which has been running for more than 50 years, is an annual beauty pageant held for girls aged 17–24 years living in England.
Entrants must hold a British passport. The contest title is owned by the Miss World organisation and is organised each year by Angie Beasley, a winner of 25 beauty contests in the 1980s.
The contest often attracts celebrity judges including top glamour model Jordan, who joined the judging panel for Miss Sussex.
The winner of the Miss England competition, along with the winners of Miss Northern Ireland, Miss Scotland and Miss Wales, can compete in Miss World. The highest-ranking competitor of the four country entrants is then presented with the title and crown of Miss United Kingdom.
Since the pageant’s inception, no title holder from Britain has gone on to win any international contest. However, several Miss England contestants had almost clinched an international crown for England, placing in the first runner up position five times; once in Miss Universe, and twice each in Miss World (as Miss United Kingdom) and Miss Europe.
The 2011 Miss England crown was won by Alize Lily Mounter who was classed as Miss Everymodel. At the Miss World final, Alize won Miss World Europe and finished as third runner up, making her the most successful English entrant since 1992.