East Ham cheerleader in race to be crowned Miss London 2012

An East Ham cheerleader is hoping to make it second time lucky by being crowned Miss London 2012.

Danielle Latimer, of Market Street, was runner-up at last year’s Miss Bedfordshire contest after entering while studying dance at university there.

Having enjoyed the experience, the 23-year-old wants to emulate the achievement.

She said: “Someone handed me a leaflet encouraging me to enter when I was on a night out and I went for it.

“I met so many amazing girls and had a brilliant time doing it.”

“My mum is so excited. She’s been coming up with all different ways of helping me get prepared.

Miss Latimer, who works as an Ann Summers representative, said she wanted help change perceptions of beauty contests.

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She will use it to give publicity to her charity work, which will include a sponsored Ski in a Bikini in Switzerland on March 3.

She added: “People think that women are being exploited but it’s actually the women exploiting the pageants to be honest.

“The judges know what they are doing, they know not to judge a book by its cover. We don’t have bikini rounds, we have sports rounds, and charity rounds.

“My friends and family are all behind me.”

Danielle is the competition’s second East Ham entry. Wendy Zadique, 16, is also on the shortlist.

The girls will be taken to a boot camp-style beauty pageant training day.

A panel of judges will then pick eight finalists for the Miss London 2012 finale at Cafe de Paris on March 17.

More information at www.missengland.info/regionals/london. To vote for Danielle text MISSLONDON09 to 63333. Texts cost 50p plus standard network charge.