Washington teenager named Miss Sunderland

Miss Sunderland, 18-year-old Natasha Phelps, from Washington, with ex-Steps member Faye Tozer, who was one of the pageant judges.

Miss Sunderland, 18-year-old Natasha Phelps, from Washington, with ex-Steps member Faye Tozer, who was one of the pageant judges.

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SPORTY Natasha Phelps is Sunderland’s new beauty queen.

The 18-year-old, from Donwell, in Washington, was crowned Miss Sunderland last night.

Natasha, who studied health, social care and sports at Parkview Sixth Form in Chester-le-Street, saw off 17 other competitors from across the region.

She donned a toadstool hat for the Alice in Wonderland-themed pageant, which saw wannabe beauty queens strut their stuff at The Pullman in Seaburn in a bid to impress judges, including Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne and ex-Steps singer Faye Tozer, who now lives in Boldon.

Student Natasha, who also works part-time for Sports Direct in The Galleries, Washington, will now receive a modelling contract with Headline Models Ltd, teeth whitening from Oliver’s Dental Studio and a model portfolio from David Lawson, while she will also be an official ambassador of charity Cash for Kids.

She wore a simple black dress from Coast for the evening wear round, saying: “I wanted to keep it simple and my personality to outshine the evening gown.

“When I won, I did not realise they had called my name - I thought they had got it wrong.”

Natasha, sister to Ryan, 26, Richard, 16, and Brendan, 13, also got the chance to party afterwards with judge Faye, who moved to Sunderland after marrying Mackem Michael Smith.

The delighted beauty queen said: “When I was little, I loved Steps, so at the after party, I got a selfie with her.”

The event is one of two Miss Sunderlands being held in the city this year. This one gives the winner entry to Miss Great Britain.