Jess Linley – Miss England
A student from Norwich has been crowned Miss England – and now gets a chance to win the Miss World title.

Jess Linley, 21, fought off competition from across the country to impress judges at the two-day event at the Hilton Metropole hotel in Birmingham on Wednesday.

The 2008 winner of the Miss Norwich competition said: “I am completely shocked and absolutely overwhelmed. I haven’t really come back down to earth yet.

“There were some beautiful girls there, so to win Miss England is just a dream.”

Miss Linley, who lives in Brundall, competed in the final as Miss Nottingham as she has recently finished her first year of a law degree at Nottingham University.

She said: “We had rehearsals on the first night and the live final the next day. There was a sportswear round, an eco-round where we wore a recycled outfit, and a talent round. My talent is photography, so I sent in a two-minute DVD of my work, and I went into the top 20, the top three and then the final, and I was lucky enough to win.”

The beauty queen will now compete against 120 other women in the Miss World competition, spending four weeks in China next month.

“China is somewhere I have always wanted to visit, so to go there for Miss World will be amazing,” she said. “We will be touring around the country before the final which is in Sanya on October 30.

“Miss World will be quite similar to the Miss England competition and other pageants. I’ll prepare by eating healthily, going to the gym at the Oasis Sport and Leisure Club in Thorpe St Andrew, and generally keeping fit. I’ll also spend some time with the other contestants, which will be good.”

Having completed her first year at university, Miss Linley is taking a gap year in order to devote herself to her modelling career. And while there may be some stigma attached to beauty pageants, she is keen to show that she has the brains as well as the beauty.

She said: “I am taking the gap year to concentrate fully on the Miss England stuff and also so that my studies don’t suffer because of those commitments.

“The competition is about much more than just being beautiful; it’s about what you can do as well.

“I’m studying a law degree and the networking and communication skills you learn on the course are similar to those you need for Miss England.”  

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