It was tears and tiaras for Poulton teenager Ashleigh Wild, who scooped a top national beauty pageant title here in Blackpool.
Ashleigh, 19, was crowned Miss Teen Great Britain 2016/17 in the grand final of the competition at the Globe Theatre, at the famous resort’s Pleasure Beach.
The event took place over two days, and included a beauty queen challenge day, photoshoots and a pyjama party. There were also interviews and the catwalk show itself, featuring fashion wear and evening wear.
As well as scooping the overall title, Ashleigh won the Best In Interview award.
Law student Ashleigh had carried out a number of fundraising events, in aid of the UK Sepsis Trust, in the run-up to the pageant. She tragically lost her dad to sepsis in May, which made the cause really close to her heart.
She also carried out fundraising for the contest’s chosen charity, Together For Short Lives – a UK charity for children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions.
She said she could not hold back the emotion when her name was announced as the winner of this year’s contest.
Ashleigh said: “The compere, Deone Robertson (Miss Great Britain 2015/16), announced the girls through to the top 20, followed by the top eight.
“It was really nerve-wracking, as I was one of the last girls to be called. Deone then announced second runner up (third place), followed by first runner up (second place).
“Once I heard my name called, the tears started to flow – I was like a blubbering baby.
“All the other contestants were so lovely and were congratulating me, which made the experience even more overwhelming.
“I cannot thank Holly and the other judges enough for believing in me to hold such a prestigious title.”
As part of the competition, the finals of the Little Miss Teen GB, Miss Junior Teen GB and World Teen Supermodel UK were also held.
Courtney Doney, from Hull, aged 13, was crowned Little Miss Teen Great Britain, and Erin White, 15, from Hereford, scooped the title of Miss Junior Teen Great Britain.
The World Supermodel UK title went to 17-year-old Molly-Mae Hague, from North Hertfordshire.
The Miss Teen GB competition encourages the girls to make appearances in their local communities and raise money for charity.
This year, the finalists of the Little, Junior and Miss Teen Great Britain competitions raised more than £36,000 for Together for Short Lives.
Miss Teen GB aims to be more than the average ‘beauty contest’ – with the interview round counting for 50 per cent of the total score and organisers say the winners of the Miss Teen Great Britain competitions are much more than a pretty face.
Holly Pirrie, director of Pageant Girl Ltd, which runs the competition, said: “The girls haven’t just taken home crowns, they have also made lifelong memories and friends they hope to keep forever.
“The two-day event encourages the girls to create new friendships through various activities such as the pyjama diva party and the beauty queen challenge day.
“Since winning their regional titles, Courtney, Erin, Ashleigh, and Molly-Mae have made numerous public appearances and held charity fundraisers in their local communities, as well as at events all over the country. “The girls will continue with their charity work during their reigns and Molly-Mae has won herself a place at the international final of the World Supermodel production in Macau in 2017.”
• Ashleigh is currently sponsored by the Beach House, Bistro and Bar, but to make her reign as productive as possible, she is seeking extra sponsors, as well as appearance opportunities throughout the year. To contact her, email email@example.com
• Visit www.missteengreatbritain.co.uk