On the morning of 24th January, while temperatures outside hovered around 3 degrees, 27 Miss Northern Ireland contestants literally stopped traffic as they took over Great Victoria Street for a photoshoot. Outside the Europa Hotel, the contestants crossed over to the Crown Bar and back as they helped launch this year’s Open+Direct Miss Northern Ireland competition, which is in its twenty-seventh year under the direction of model agency boss Alison Clarke.
The contest, which is sponsored by local insurance company Open+Direct, will see heats right across Northern Ireland from February until April of this year, with the gala grand final taking place at the Europa Hotel on Monday 13 May. The glittering event, which will be hosted by TV presenters Zoe Salmon and Marc Mallett, will see top class entertainment and a catwalk show from fashion partner, The OUTLET Village in Banbridge.
Contestant organiser Alison Clarke and the current title holder Tiffany Brien – who reached the Top Ten in beachwear at Miss World 2012 – announced a continued two year title sponsorship from Open + Direct. Alison said: “I am absolutely thrilled to announce the continued support from Open + Direct as they have supported the competition for a number of years and then had a successful title sponsorship last year. We’ve already had a number of entries for this year’s crown – and I can see it being a tough competition, but one lucky girl will undoubtedly stand out and impress the judges to win this title before going on to compete in Miss World in Indonesia in September. Tiffany has been a wonderful ambassador for the contest and has put a very positive and friendly face to Northern Ireland this past year. I wish her every success in these final few months and would hope she hands over to someone just as hard-working and enthusiastic.”
The heats start in Cafe Vaudeville on the 28 February and continue on a whirlwind tour throughout March and April – stopping off in Spice Restaurant in Antrim, Gillies Bar at Galgorm Ballymena, Sweet in Limavady, the Coach in Banbridge, Sense in Cookstown, Walshes Hotel in Maghera, Horatio Todd’s in East Belfast, McAleer’s in Dungannon, Sally’s in Omagh, Pretty Mary’s in Moira, and BED in Newry city, before finally coming to a close in Betty Blacks in Bangor on 28 April 2013.
This year’s winner will not only take on the coveted title of Open + Direct Miss Northern Ireland 2013, and an all-expenses paid trip to Miss World in Indonesia, she will also win a Kia car from Downey’s, taxed and insured for a year by Open + Direct, as well as a wardrobe of designer dresses for Miss World from Beverly Hills and a front cover photoshoot with IN! magazine. Beauty prizes, which will keep her preened and prepared for her role, include one year’s hairdressing and LA Tanning Treatments from TAN 2 U Mobile Spray Tanning, as well as 1 year’s eyebrow threading, eyelash extensions and nail treatments by Renu at Michele International, a £500 makeup hamper from Paddy McGurgan’s Make Up Pro store and a makeup lesson with Paddy himself plus luxurious beauty treatments from Beauty Culture as well as stunning designer sunglasses from Jonathan Keys. The winner can also keep fit with her gym membership at Culloden Spa and her modeling career will also get off to the right start with a photoshoot session with Andy Cameron Photography and a year’s contract with top model agency, ACA Models.
Event organisers are looking for entrants aged between 17 and 24 from all parts of Northern Ireland to take over the crown from current Miss Northern Ireland Tiffany Brien. “As a champion in her sport beforehand, Tiffany really approached Miss Northern Ireland with gusto and made the title her own. It takes great stamina, commitment and confidence to carry off the title, and we are seeking a girl with that special X factor – something unique and different which sets our winner apart from all the rest, as it takes more than just good looks to win Miss Northern Ireland.” said Alison Clarke. “The winner will have her diary filled with a range of modelling and promotional assignments throughout the year – some challenging, some fun – but all fantastic experiences. Plus she must be free to depart Northern Ireland in September to attend the Miss World final held in Indonesia.”
To enter, girls should send a photograph with their name and address to the Open+Direct Miss Northern Ireland Contest, 381 Beersbridge Road, Belfast, BT5 5DT. Competition rules can be checked out on the Miss NI website www.missnorthernireland.co.uk or on Facebook at Miss Northern Ireland Contest. The official website also outlines full details of the competition heats and the full range of prizes available.
10th Spice Restaurant (Antrim)
14th Gillies Bar Galgorm (Ballymena)
23th Sweet Limavady
27th Coach Banbridge (Banbridge)
30th Sense Night Club (Cookstown)
5th Walshes Hotel (Maghera)
9th Horatio Todds (East Belfast)
12th McAleers (Dungannon)
19th Pretty Mary’s (Moira)
21th Sallys (Omagh)
27th BED (Newry)
28th Betty Black’s (Bangor)