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Swimwear axed from Miss England

Miss England contestants will no longer have to take part in a swimwear round, after a call from the current title holder saw the tradition axed. Katrina Hodge, the army lance corporal who won the contest in 2009, argued that the swimwear round was outdated. From this year, contestants in the national pageant will compete in sports wear and eco rounds, reflecting what are considered to be more modern attitudes. Katrina, 23, said: "In a world of size zero models it's not a particularly good image to give out to girls that you've got to be stick thin. "I met girls who were all dieting and worrying about the bikini round and I just thought it's not a good image for girls to have." The swimwear round has been a tradition since the beginning of the contest, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this August. Its current director Angie Beasley said: "In the 50s, the entire competition was in swimwear and called a bathing beauty pageant. "It's that idea we are trying to get away from - the girls have to be talented. There'll be a sports round where they engage in physical activities, and an eco section where they wear recycled clothes to show women can be beautiful in things other than designer labels." This year's winner will be automatically put forward to compete in Miss World in Vietnam in November.

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