Natasha’s eyes on model prize

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A SCHOOLGIRL from Cookstown is the the final of a prestigious modelling competition in London.

Natasha Hay, 17 is in the final of the Top Model UK competition which is to be held in the Hilton hotel in London at the end of March. Natasha, who had never done any previous modelling before was selcted from hundreds of other applicants at the auditions in Belfast last year.

Natasha, who is a pupil at the Integrated College in Dungannon, had never considered doing any modelling before and was persuaded to enter after winning a competition organised by the Tyrone Courier to be the ‘Face of Cuba Clothing’.

She said: “I have never done any modelling at all before, It was something that never ever crossed my mind. Then I had been asked to take part in a fashion show for Cuba in the Fort in Dungannon, and then the following week the paper ran the ‘Face of Cuba’ competition where the public had to vote, and I was announced as the winner in the Burnavon at another fashion show. It was such a shock, I couldn’t believe it!” Natasha’s prize for winning the competition was a photoshoot day with well-known Belfast photogrpaher Avril Mawhinney who persuaded Natasha to enter the Top Model competition audtions which were taking place in the Hilton in Belfast that same week.

Natasha was then selected along with six other girls to go forward to the finals taking place on 25th March. The Top Model campaigns pride being beauty pagents, but instead pride themselves on their pure model search ethos, with all of the top prizes and opportunities for the finalists and award winners being focused on the fashion and model industries. Natasha was selcted to be part of the Commercial category, which is one of three in the competition.

Natasha said she is looking forward to the opportunity to be part of such a big event at the finals in London. She said: “I’m really nervous about it but I’m also really excited. It’s going to be great experience, I’m excited because I’ve never been to London before.”

The overall winner of the Top Model UK competition will recieve a range of unbelieavable prizes including an all expenses paid 5-night photoshoot trip to Malta, staying in a 5 star luxury hotel; a Europe wide 12 month modellung contract with In Fashion agency and a guaranteed booking to take to the runway at London Fashion week modelling a range of designs.

Natasha is hoping after she finishes school to go on and study Drama and acting and she is hoping that maybe by taking part in such a well known competition it could help her on her way in the acting business. She said: “I know it will be really good experience and I hope that it might help me in my future career, I suppose modelling and drama are sort of linked in a way so it will help get me out there.”

Although Natasha’s date for the finals is not until 25th March, memebers of the public can still vote for her at the minute in the ‘Public text vote award’ category. This is separate from the actual model compeition which is judged on the night by professionals from the modelling industry. But the overall winner of the public text vote can still win a major prize. If you would like to vote for Natasha, then text Model followed by a space then UK 57 to 88008. All proceeds from the public text vote go directly yo support the Great Ormond Street childhood cancer charity Children with Leukaemia.