Miss Northern Ireland crown goes to Leanne McDowell
Blonde bombshell Leanne McDowell was crowned the new Miss Northern Ireland last night.
The Newtownabbey beauty was celebrating after a glittering ceremony at the Europa Hotel in Belfast following a tense competition between the 28 finalists.
Leanne has admitted she has dreamt of being in the running for the coveted title since she was a young girl.
Speaking minutes after being crowned. she said" "It's like a dream, it's so surreal - I really can't believe it."
Leanne added: "I remember looking at magazines when I was a young girl and thinking, I'll hopefully be there some day. I never thought I would ever win it - I just wanted to be part of the Miss NI competition.
"Now that I have won it, I want to be one of the best Miss NI's ever."
Organiser Alison Clarke said the winner had to have all the skills to carry off the title, which is now a full-time job for the year. Outgoing title holder Rebekah Shirley handed over the mantle to her successor - along with a chance to compete at Miss World.
Leanne walks off with prizes including a £5,000 Ultimate Package from Therapie, a car for a year from Donnelly Fiat Group, a Miss World wardrobe from Blush, an ACA modelling contract and a host of beauty treatments.