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Former Miss Great Britain and her mum Margaret share their special family relationships

By Karen Ireland

Published 28/10/2015

Best friends: Gemma Garrett and her mum Margaret
Best friends: Gemma Garrett and her mum Margaret

Gemma Garrett is an ex-Miss Great Britain who now works behind the scenes as a make-up artist. Her mum Margaret is a classroom assistant.

Name: Gemma Garrett

Age: 33

Occupation: Make-up artist

Relationship to Margaret Garrett: Daughter

I am known for my modelling career which I have been doing since I was 17, when I was spotted by a national newspaper. They suggested that I enter a competition which I went on to win and things just snowballed from there.

I really enjoyed modelling - it was a great career. Like any job it had its highs and lows, but for the main I learnt a lot and really enjoyed it.

Some of the highlights include winning the Miss Great Britain title in 2008. I was also the Face of the British Formula 1 Grand Prix and I got to work with Lewis Hamilton which was amazing.

I was also the face of Jovani evening wear and they did all their shoots in New York. They flew me over there three times a year in business class - it was a great experience.

Sometimes I miss the modelling days as it was very exciting and I loved the travel and the buzz of it all.

However, I am still involved in the industry, albeit behind the scenes now as a make-up artist.

I trained with leading artist Paddy McGurgan, who writes the Belfast Telegraph Weekend Magazine's beauty page, and am now fully qualified. I love my job now.

My mum and I have always been close - she is more like a best friend. We do everything together and I could talk to her about anything. When we go out at weekends, my friends are always asking 'where is Margo'?

My mum is so serene and calm and has a way of approaching a tricky situation and calming things down - which is a characteristic I wish I had inherited.

She sees the good in everyone and gives everyone a chance. I really admire that characteristic as, having spent so many years modelling, I became very cynical.

I try to spend as much time with mum as possible as she helps me to see the best in situations and to have a more positive outlook.

I feel very blessed to have the relationship I do with my mum. We spend time doing girlie things like going for lunch or having spa days along with my sister Lisa.

As I get older I realise how hard my parents have worked and the sacrifices they have made for my sister, brother and I. So, last year I sent my parents to Paris as a thank you for all they have done for me.

Name: Margaret Garrett

Age: 55

Occupation: Classroom assistant

Relationship to Gemma Garrett: Mother

We are a very close family and spend a lot of time together. I am married to Stephen and we have three children, Lisa (38), Gemma (34) and Stevie (28).

When my children were younger and growing up, I was at home with them. I married young and had my children soon afterwards. When they went to school, I decided to retrain as a classroom assistant.

Now, I work in a local nursery in Dundonald, with children aged three and four, and I love it.

Outside work, my family is my life.

Last week we all went bowling together and it was great fun. We like to get out and about as a family.

I cook for all of them at weekends when they come home to mum and dad's house.

It's the same at Christmas - everyone comes round to me for dinner. Gemma and I are more like friends than mother and daughter. We do everything together.

Stephen and I were always keen that the children went to university, but when Gemma was offered the chance to model, she choose a different path.

Thankfully things went well for her and she has had a brilliant career. We are very proud of her.

She has had amazing opportunities and has always brought glitz and glamour into our lives.

She is a great daughter and is generous to a fault.

As a friend she is loyal and expects the same from others.

Growing up, Gemma always loved to be posing in front of the camera. She loved the limelight - so it was no surprise she chose the career she did.

I have always been in the front row at every stage of her career and supported her all the way.

From the catwalk to politics

  • Gemma Garrett is a former Miss Great Britain
  • She appeared with Dolph Lundgren in the film Direct Contact in 2008
  • Gemma stood as a candidate in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election in 2008, representing the "Beauties for Britain" party, formed by herself, in the intention, in her own words, of "making Westminster less dowdy and downtrodden". She came in 10th with 113 votes
  • She also contested the Haltemprice and Howden by-election in Yorkshire, representing the 'Miss Great Britain Party'. Her candidacy attracted 521 votes

Belfast Telegraph

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