COMPETITION is hotting up in the county’s best-known beauty pageant and this year it’s not just the girls going for gold.
For the first time ever, the search is on for Mr Hampshire and Southsea firefighter James Everett is on the short list.
The 24-year-old hopes that his skills as a fireman, lifeguard and charity volunteer will be enough to take the title.
James said: ‘I hope to win but I did not expect it to go as far as it has.
‘I volunteer on children’s wards at hospitals, as well as working in partnership as a co-responder with the ambulance service so I’m hoping being in the contest helps highlight those causes.’
Also in this weekend’s competition are Channon Kail, from Portsmouth, and Dani Farley, from Locks Heath.
Channon is an apprentice at Portsmouth City Council and said she’s ready to battle it out for the chance to represent Hampshire in the contest.
The 19-year-old, who works in adult social care, said: ‘I love what I do. I love helping people on a personal level and that is one reason why I think I’m a good candidate for Miss Hampshire.’
Channon, who is from Paulsgrove, used to tour the country as a freestyle disco dancer but left the flares for civil duty.
She said: ‘It would be amazing to win.
‘I was reluctant to enter, but winning would show how much belief everyone has in me.’
However, she has competition from singer-songwriter Dani, who is also hoping to be crowned Miss Hampshire.
Dan said: ‘I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m most worried about falling over on the catwalk’
The 23-year-old is a musician and radio PR at Capital FM. Over the last two years she has performed with The Pow Pow Girls who competed in The X-Factor last year.
She said: ‘I entered Miss Hampshire to be a role model for other girls who have crazy dreams. I hope to show them that you can achieve anything when you put your mind to it.’
Channon and Dani are in the Miss Hampshire competition with 15 other girls.
James is up against five other men for the Mr Hampshire title.
The finalists will take to the catwalk at Alton House Hotel on Saturday to compete for the regional title. They will be judged on a series of rounds.
The winners will then become the county’s representatives at the Miss and Mr England final.
Former Miss Hampshire Grace Levy, from Titchfield, even went on to clinch the title of reigning Miss Universe – Great Britain, which she still holds.