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Pageant winner keen to do Teesside proud.

Byline: Lyndsay Oxley Reporter lyndsay.oxley@trinitymirror.com

WHEN it comes to beauty pageants, Acklam-born Eleanor Potter is no stranger to taking to the stage, and last night's Miss North East GB final proved just that.

Eleanor was crowned the first Miss Teesside GB at a gala event held at Wynyard Hall organised by Headline Models and One Voice Productions.

Despite taking the title of Miss York in June last year and making it to the finals of Miss England, the 19-year-old dance teacher is delighted to finally have a crown from where she was brought up.

She said: "It was a surreal moment for me. I actually cried when I heard my name being read out.

"I am so happy. I can't believe they have given me the chance to represent Teesside in the Miss Great Britain finals.

"Being crowned Miss York was my maiden opportunity, but it means so much more to represent Teesside.

"Teesside gets a bad name sometimes and that is why I want to do it proud."

Eleanor left Teesside when she was 11 to study performing arts and musical theatre at the Ravenscourt Theatre School in Hammersmith. She recently returned to Stockton, where she now lives.

Following last night's pageant success, Eleanor is also preparing to concentrate on her performing skills.

Nevertheless, success in beauty pageants is something which appears to run in the family.

Eleanor's mum, Samantha, who runs the Samantha Moore Academy of Performing Arts in Stockton, was crowned Miss Ibiza in 1987.

However, it wasn't until two years ago that Eleanor decided to follow in her mum's footsteps.

Having now taken part in five beauty pageants, Eleanor is looking forward to the Miss Great Britian finals which will take place in Leicester in September.

She said: "I am nervous and excited, but I just want to go there.

"They are a great way to build your confidence. It is not just about beauty. It is about the person you are and what you can do. "I have met some great friends. Everyone is different in their own way."

Among the other Miss Teesside finalists were Laura Brookes, from Hartburn, Steph Alderton, from Thorntree; Laura Ayre, from Stockton; Kathryn Bowley, from Peterlee; Shelby Cooper, from Bishop Auckland; and Devon Balmer from Darlington.

Steph Alderton, 19, said: "This is my first ever beauty pageant. I never thought I would get this far. It is a great achievement. I am glad to be doing my family proud."

Laura Brookes, 22, who has just qualified as a nurse at Teesside University, said: "Being in the finals is so exciting. I have enjoyed raising money and it is lovely how everyone has come together."

Laura Ayre, 25, was taking part in a beauty pageant for the first time after recently losing five and a half stone.

She said: "I never thought I would be here. I have always been bigger.

"Losing weight has given me confidence that I never had before."

Student nurse, Kathryn Bowley, 22, from Peterlee, said: "I did not think I would ever get in. It was just a spontaneous decision and I did it."

Shelby Cooper, 17, said: "I have met some really nice people and it gives you a lot of confidence.

"I was never the type of person to push myself out there before but now I feel a lot more confi-dent."

Devon Balmer, 22, from Darlington, added: "It has been a real confidence builder.

"It has been really good. The people are amazing. I think I would do another one."

Other women also aimed to become Miss Newcastle GB, Miss Sunderland GB and Miss Durham GB at the event, with one winner chosen for each title.

Each of the winners received a selection of prizes including a modelling contract and a place in

CAPTION(S):

Steph Alderton, left, and Kathryn Bowley

Laura Brookes with hosts, Simon Robertson and Kate Solomons

Shelby Cooper

Devon Balmer

Laura Ayre is interviewed by the judges

Contestants for Miss Teesside at the Miss North East finals, held at Wynyard Hall 300715MISSNE_011 IAN COOPER

A delighted |Eleanor Potts says she is ' so happy' at the chance to represent Teesside in Miss Great Britain
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Aug 1, 2015
Words:699
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