''Combat Barbie'' crowned Miss England

''Combat Barbie'' crowned Miss EnglandLondon, Jan 26 : A Lance Corporal in the British army, nicknamed ''Combat Barbie'', has been officially crowned Miss England after the original winner stepped down last year.

Lance Corporal Katrina Hodge was drafted in to compete in the Miss World contest in December after Rachel Christie relinquished her title following her arrest over an alleged nightclub brawl.

Hodge, 22, who wore a sparkly red dress, was presented with her Miss England crown at Manor House Hotel in Guildford, Surrey.

The Lance Corporal, whose parents live in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, was the first runner-up in the Miss England 2009 final in London last July.

The soldier, who has already served in Iraq, had just 24 hours notice to prepare for the prestigious Miss World competition, which was held in South Africa.

Since her success in the Miss England final, L/Cpl Hodge has been chosen as a model for La Senza lingerie and has secured a 22,000 pounds contract as the new face of online dating site Uniform Dating.

"It really helps the troops'' morale to be able to communicate with friends and even set up dates for when they are home on leave," the Telegraph quoted her as saying.

"It''s not just the guys on tour that need support - its us girls too, and there are thousands like us on the site: soldiers, nurses, paramedics, policewomen.

"The work patterns that we have make uniformdating. com ideal for meeting someone special - for dates or even long-term relationships. It''s great fun and I am thrilled to be involved," she said.

L/Cpl Hodge, who was given six months leave to handle her more glamorous duties, said she hoped to join the effort in Afghanistan after she steps down as Miss England in July.

She wants to use her title to promote the British Army along with various military charities, including Help for Heroes.

"We are delighted to be working with Katrina," a spokesman for the site said.

"Many of the men and women who use our site really are heroes - they put their lives on the line and see terrible things," he added. (ANI)

United Kingdom: 

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