A toy designer from Preston has been crowned winner of the UK Bikini Squad competition.
Out of hundreds of entrants, Hazel Fox of Lea, made it to the top 12 to become Miss January in a calendar shoot, then was named overall winner, meaning she will feature on the front cover.
Later in the year she will be jetting out to Hollywood to take part in a world final.
The 24-year-old former Kirkham Grammar School pupil said: “I was really, really shocked to have won, I even burst into tears because it was such a surprise.”
Hazel, who put previous modelling work on hold after she got a job with Fleetwood-based Halsall Toys International, said she only entered on the spur of the moment after keeping in touch with model trainer Kerri Parker, who runs Bikini Squad.
Hazel was judged on a full day of photo shoots, interviews and a final which consisted of a two-hour runway show.
She said: “It was incredibly nerve-wracking walking in front of a huge crowd in swimwear, but it was worth it. The nerves seemed to turn to sheer excitement.”
She added: “All the girls were very different – some were into fashion like me, others were about glamour, and others were body builders.
“It came down to a lot about personality too, and the judges said they loved my job.”
Hazel, who has been with partner Iain for three years, said her family were “thrilled” with her success, and none more so than grandad Brian Fox from Fulwood.
She said: “When I rang him to tell him the news, he was so happy for me, he was ecstatic.
“When he told me he couldn’t be prouder, it really did mean the world to me.”
Hazel said she benefits from “good genes” from her mum, and although she’s a fussy eater, loves to cook.
She added: “I don’t know what the future holds after the contest in America, but it will be an eye-opener and my chance to travel.
“I’ve met some really nice girls doing this, and we will have a lot of fun.”