Miss England organisers scrap pageant's controversial bikini round

Miss England organisers ‘bow to the woke brigade’ by scrapping the pageant’s controversial bikini round

  • Organiser Angie Beasley previously suggested bringing back the bikini round

Miss England organisers yesterday banned their swimwear round altogether – just two weeks after considering its return to the stage.

The beauty pageant had been looking to reintroduce the bikini parade for the first time since 2009 but has now revealed it would be scrapped entirely.

The controversial round had existed as an optional choice where contestants could submit beachwear-themed photos rather than appear on stage.

Organiser Angie Beasley previously vowed she would ‘refuse to bow to the woke brigade’ and said she was in talks about bringing bikinis back to the stage in 2023.

But following a poll of contestants, and debates on TV and radio, she said the decision had now been made to ditch the round.

Miss England 2008 Georgia Horsley (C) and Miss England semi- finalists launch the official Miss England Bikini 2008 by Aguaclara on the Kings Road on April 4,

Miss England 1961, Arlette Dobson, posing after her election at the Lyceum Theatre in London

Miss England 2014 Carina Tyrrell and Miss United Kingdom 2014 Kirsty Heslewood pose after being crowned on the 777 yacht in Torquay Harbour

Ms Beasley said the competition was ‘no longer a bathing beauty parade’ and now ‘celebrates women achievers’, meaning the bikini round ‘sadly had to go’.

She said ‘The contestants views in the poll were very mixed, lots were saying to keep it optional.

‘When asked if they would take part in the round, some said they would decline the opportunity if it’s presented but to keep it optional for the girls that do want it in.

‘Miss England and Miss World celebrates women achievers.

‘It’s been decided that the swimwear round will now be scrapped altogether from the contest for the foreseeable future.

READ MORE: Could Miss England pageant bring back its famous bikini parade? Swimwear round could be reinstated after 20 years as organisers say they won’t ‘bow to woke brigade’ 

‘I know some contestants will be disappointed in this outcome but we can’t please everyone.

‘It’s important that we opened up this debate to all as the contest is constantly evolving. It’s no longer a bathing beauty parade.

‘The focus needs to be on other factors in the contest such as the “Beauty with a Purpose” round which recognises the ethos of the contestants themselves and raises lots of funds for charities across the world.

‘The Miss England contest also holds a sports, talent, make-up free and ethical fashion round supporting the World Against Single Use Plastic campaign in the contest along with other key influencer rounds.

‘The contestants are also invited to promote the area they live in our newest Explore the Nation presenter style round at the next final.

Myra Van Heck being crowned Miss England 1969 at the Miss England Beauty Competition 1969, the Lyceum Ballroom, London, Friday May 16 

Miss England 2011 finalists pictured at their swimwear photoshoot at Orange Studios in East London

Miss England Georgia Horsley poses at a photocall at the launch of Miss England Bikini 2008

‘They don’t need to appear on stage in swimwear, its got to go sadly. I believe it’s had its day in the contest.’

The swimwear parade for the Miss England beauty pageant was scrapped in 2009, following a campaign by former contestant Katrina Hodge.

The serving soldier – dubbed ‘Combat Barbie’ – said it was ‘degrading’ and wanted to bring the focus back to topics such as her charity work.

But she later admitted she regretted her ‘misguided’ campaign to ban swimwear rounds at beauty contests.

Miss Shropshire Eloise Sarasini, 21, an entrepreneur, said she was disappointed with today’s decision.

She said: ‘I’m so disappointed the swimwear was banned as I enjoy wearing swimwear and I’ve worked hard for my body.

Milly Everatt a farmer and HGV driver from Lincolnshire has won the Beach Beauty swimwear round in Miss England TWICE in the last five years

Miss England 2008/2009 semi-finalists launched the first official Miss England Bikini by Aguaclara on the Kings Road. Pictured is Miss Tunbridge Wells – Katrina Hodge

‘But there are nine other rounds in the Miss England final including a talent round.’

But Hannah Jowle, from Blackpool, one of this year’s semi finalists, was one of those delighted with the result.

She said: ‘Confident women don’t feel the need to show off their bodies.’

The current Miss England is aerospace engineering student Jessica Gagen, 27, who will compete at the 71st Miss World in India later this year.

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