Former Portsmouth student Poppy wins national swimwear modelling contest

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FORMER University of Portsmouth student Poppy Haskell is on top of the world after winning a national modelling competition.

The 25-year-old saw off competition from across the country to be named Miss Swimsuit UK in a star-studded ceremony in Manchester.

Poppy Haskell is the new Miss Swimsuit UK 2017

Poppy Haskell is the new Miss Swimsuit UK 2017

She will now go on to represent the UK at the International Swimsuit USA World Finals in Punta Cana, Mexico in December.

A video posted on the Miss Swimsuit UK Facebook page shows the magical moment she was named as winner.

Poppy, from Emsworth, said: ‘When they read out my name I was really shocked – I felt so happy.

‘Everyone competing was so amazing and I thought there was no chance I would win.

‘My mum and dad are both really proud.’

Miss Swimsuit UK, which is in its fourth year, was founded by modelling agency Verena Twigg.

To make it through to the final Poppy won one of seven regional heats, while a ‘wildcard’ heat was also held.

During the final Poppy, who was sponsored by Emsworth-based manufacturers Gardx, had to perform catwalks in swimwear, evening wear and other dresses. A total of 15 entrants took part in the final.

Celebrity judges included Celebrity Big Brother star Chloe Kahn, fashion photographer Nathan Demure and Helen Briggs from Ex on the Beach.

Speaking about the upcoming international competition, Poppy said: ‘It’s a little bit overwhelming to be honest. But it’s extremely exciting.

‘They are probably all going to be Victoria’s Secret lookalikes.

‘The main thing that’s changed is the amount of work I have received already.

As well as the all-inclusive trip to Mexico, Poppy’s prizes also include £500 worth of clothes from Gym King, swimwear from Rene K Couture and a dress from I Saw It First.

Poppy, who graduated from the city’s university in 2014 with a degree in creative and media writing, said: ‘I want to carry on modelling full-time, which I’ve done for a year already.

‘My aim now is just to get a bit more exposure.’

The Miss Swimsuit UK competition is about empowering women and celebrating role models who enjoy healthy and active lifestyles.