The Manchester events of the Miss Swimsuit UK competition (see here and here) were so much fun that I thought I'd trek up to Newcastle on a Thursday night, on my own, to go check out the first heat of the 2017 competition. Trying to convince people to take a 260-mile round-trip on a week night isn't the easiest blag. But they missed out.
The event took place in the beautiful Bonbar in The Assembly Rooms, a Georgian venue in the heart of the city. It took a while to find a parking space as most were taken nearby and literally EVERY public car park in Newcastle closes at night. Eventually I parked up a good ten-minute walk from the venue, taking pictures along the way in the hope I might be able to find my car at the end of the night.
The staff and customers were really friendly, which is great when you're a little stressed from finding the place and going solo like a non-famous Jason DeRulo.
Celeb guests included Ex Factor's Ellis Lacey, Love Island's Jess Hayes and Emma Jane Woodhams and Ex on the Beach's Ashleigh Defty, Rogan O'Connor and Chet Johnson.
Also in attendance were some Love Island scouts, so some of the names mentioned here may appear on the show next year. Drinks prices were much fairer than VIVA's, who hosted the Manchester heat.
Amelia was my favourite out of the competition. She came in third, behind Natalie in second. The night's winner: Sarah!
Here's me with the winner...
...and with the organiser, Verena Twigg and the night's costume designer and star of Ex on the Beach, Zara Lena.
Competitors' golden skin tones provided by Star Tanning.
I got talking to a couple of models from Manchester and we all decided to check out the event's after party at the impressive Tup Tup Palace where we somehow managed to blag VIP. Great fun.
Really glad I decided to go despite knowing virtually no-one. (Oh, and I needed to show the taxi driver pictures of where I'd parked my car so I could find the damned thing. Good job I'm organised.) Looking forward to the Manchester event on Thursday 27th April in VIVA.