THE new Miss Worcestershire believes her late grandfather was looking over her as she took the crown at a glitzy ceremony at Sixways last night (Sunday).

Laura Beth Morgan has vowed to use her year as ambassador to promote positive body image to women as she now moves on to the Miss England competition.

Miss Morgan, from Belbroughton, near Stourbridge, lost her grandfather six months ago and quietly thanked him as she took to the stage to receive her crown with tears in her eyes.

The 24-year-old freelance production assistant for television and film was approached by the event's organisers to take part and they were impressed by her confidence and determination to change the views of beauty pageants.

She said: "I'm not a size six, I'm a size 12 - that's me I am not going to pretend to be someone I'm not.

"When I took part in Miss Worcestershire I wanted to promote body confidence in young people.

"There is lots of stigma and pressure to be a size eight but I love my food and that's not going to change and I think if I'm confident then that's a good role model for young girls.

"At the show I had lots of make up on and a glamorous dress but on a day-to-day basis I don't wear make up, I am just me."

Miss Morgan said she was overwhelmed at being chosen and has raised almost £1,500 for the charity Beauty with a Purpose as well as taking an active role in her community.

"The competition has changed a lot over the years - it's not about bikini photos it's about being a role model for young women and an ambassador for the county.

"A few years ago it would have probably never have entered my head to take part and I probably thought the same but if you look into it, it's not like that.

"The women are all different shapes and sizes and I think it has changed for the better."

After a whirlwind evening, Miss Morgan is now looking forward to the challenge of Miss England and the coming year.

"I'm going to take it by the horns and give it my best shot.

"I can only be myself and if that's what people want then that's what people will get."