THE winner of this year's Miss Worcestershire beauty competition says she hopes her "fantastic experience" will help to change people's perceptions of beauty pageants.

Chloe Palmer, aged 20, was crowned Miss Worcestershire 2014/15 at a ceremony at Worcester's Guildhall on Sunday, where 21-year-old Daniel Evans was named the first ever Mr Worcestershire.

Miss Palmer, who was up against 21 other women in the finals, said she has had "a fantastic time" from beginning to end.

"I was absolutely wowed when I found out I'd won. I was so excited and I've really loved every single minute of the competition," Miss Palmer, who lives in Kidderminster, said.

"I entered very last minute. I was modelling a wedding dress for a friend's company at a show in Birmingham where Miss Worcestershire also had a stall. I asked if I could sign up and they said I could even though it was getting towards the closing date, so I'm very grateful for that.

"Taking part in a beauty pageant is really not what some people may think it is. People think they are very catty and competitive but I really made so many friends, we all really got on and were genuinely happy for each other. The other women were congratulating me and it was really wonderful."

Miss Palmer, who works in sales at Brintons Carpets in Kidderminster, said she would like to continue with modelling.

"I would like to see where it takes me. I really want to promote natural beauty, and how it's more about what you are like on the inside than anything else," she said.

Daniel Evans, aged 21, said he was "very proud" to take home the title.

Mr Evans, from Throckmorton near Pershore, said: "I was really happy and surprised to win. I didn't expect to. I've never done anything like this before. I'm a professional online gamer, which can be a bit nerdy, so to do something like this is very different for me. But all of my friends and family have been very supportive and I'm going to see where it takes me. I would definitely like to pursue a career in modelling."

Rosie Thompson and Sasha Stephens came second and third in the Miss Worcestershire competition, while Joseph Taylor and Jack Kendall were the runners up in the Mr Worcestershire competition.

The competitors raised around £6,000 the charity, Beauty with a Purpose – Miss World Charity Organisation, which supports disadvantaged children.