WITH her cute pigtails and cheeky smile, it’s no wonder Lily-Mai Driscoll has been crowned the overall winner of The News Baby and Toddler of the Year competition.
The one-year-old, of Oxford Close, Fareham, was picked out by a panel of judges from 741 other bonny babies who had their pictures taken during photography sessions for the contest this summer.
Delighted mum Amber Driscoll, 36, couldn’t believe her daughter came out on top because the tot wasn’t in a particularly good mood on the day she was photographed at the Asda store in Fareham.
Lily-Mai, who attends her mum’s dance school Amber Andrews School of Dance, was pictured wearing a blue and white stripey dress.
Amber said: ‘I was out shopping withLily-Mai and my friend Carol Lawson, 42, when Carol urged me to enter Lily-Mai for the competition.
‘I just saw it as a bit of fun and an opportunity to get a really nice picture of Lily-Mai which I could keep.
‘Though every parent thinks their child is gorgeous, I didn’t think for a second that Lily-Mai would beat all the other children.
‘She was in a bad mood on the day and didn’t feel like smiling.’
‘I just expected to see someone else being announced the winner – so this has come as a welcome surprise.
‘I’m very, very pleased.’
The family’s prize is a seven-night holiday at Pontins plus a 20in by 16in photograph from Fraser Portraits and a trophy.
Readers got the chance to vote for their favourite pictures before an overall winner was announced.
Lily-Mai’s proud dad Neil Driscoll, 32, said: ‘It’s brilliant.
‘I am absolutely over the moon with Lily Mai’s success.
‘It’s nice to know that people took the time to vote for her.
‘I’ve received a lot of nice comments from people on Facebook about it.’
The couple now plan to make Lily-Mai a scrapbook so in years to come she can look back at her success.
In the contest, Lexi-Rose Saveall, of Campion Close, Waterlooville, won the best newborn to nine-month-old category, Alana Do’Urden, one, of Bryony Way, Waterlooville, topped the 10-18 month old section, Logan Butler, 20 months, of Juniper Square, Havant, won the 19-36 month-old category and Coral Whitaker, five, was top of the the 37 month to five-year-old category.
They are all pictured below.