A teenage beauty is bidding to represent the UK by taking the crown at her first pageant.
Jessica Porter, from Jarrow, is heading to Birmingham on Saturday to compete in Miss Earth UK.
The 17-year-old says she’s excited but nervous to walk the catwalk for the very first time.
Jessica, who is studying musical theatre at Gateshead College, said: “My mam saw the pageant when she was looking around on the internet and I decided to do it because I wanted to do more than just musical theatre and try new things.
“I’d like to do modelling and pageants and get a wider range of skills so I decided to apply for it but I didn’t really expect to hear back, so I couldn’t believe it when they told me I was one of 20 girls chosen to compete.
“It was such a surprise because I’ve never really done anything like this before and have no experience. This will be my first time ever walking down a catwalk and doing a pageant.”
Jessica will compete in three rounds over the course of the weekend. She’ll have to show off three different looks with a little black dress, an evening gown and swimwear.
She said: “The swimsuit has to be Earth themed and my friend, Hope Allon, who’s a fashion student, is making it for me.
“I’m really excited for the contest but obviously scared as well because I’ve never done anything like this before, but it’s going to be such a great experience.
“Winning would be absolutely amazing, I haven’t even got the words to describe what that would feel like.
“I’ve never had much confidence and never thought I’d be able to do something like this so even just being invited to compete feels amazing.”
If Jessica makes it through this round, she’ll go to Vienna, in Austria to represent the UK in a bid to become Miss Earth.
She says she’d use her position to carry out charity work.
She added: “The contest is all about encouraging people to look after the environment and raising awareness around issues like pollution. This Earth looks after us and we should look after it.
“If I won, I’d like to do a lot to help charities and help the environment too.”
Jessica is looking for local businesses to help her through the contest by sponsoring her.
Anyone interested in getting involved should go to search for ‘Jessica Porter’ at www.gofundme.com