The hopes and dreams of many young woman have been fulfilled over the last 29 years thanks to the Miss Northern Ireland competition.
Organised by Alison Clarke, the famous contest celebrates it’s 30th birthday this year and once again it returns to the Bull’s Eye, Coleraine after a five year break.
Alison Clarke, owner of ACA Modelling Agency and wife of Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke, spoke about the return to the night spot which has provided four winners of the Miss Northern Ireland crown - Fiona Hurley, Joanne Salley, Lucy Evangilista and Catherine Milligan.
“The Bull’s Eye has been the best heat ever for winners,” said Alison.
“We always loved the heat there and really it’s the Bull’s Eye management team who decided to get involved with the competition again .
“We always would’ve been happy to continue there and we are delighted they are back on board with us .
“I guess it was a case of them fitting the event in with everything else they do in their venue.
“We are actively seeking entrants to compete at the Bull’s Eye from Coleraine and the surrounding areas and any girls who are interested can enter online at www.missnorthernireland.co.uk or send their details into our offices. Entry forms available from the Bull’s Eye itself.”
Joanne Salley, winner of Miss Northern Ireland in 1998 remembers how she qualified for the finals.
“I was in the second year of my degree at the University of Ulster studying jewellery and silversmithing and I had been putting off entering because I wasn’t really confident.
“I had been working really hard at uni in the run up to the heat and eventually I thought why not, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
“The heat at the Bull’s Eye was one of the final heats and I remember it like it was yesterday.
“I had a wee black dress that I had bought especially for it and although I felt good I remember arriving at the door and having loads of hesitation, thinking do I really want to do this?
“I remember going in and meeting all the girls and finding that everyone was equally nervous but they were all lovely.
“We did a little interview which was very light hearted and at the end of the night I was so shocked to learn I had won.”
Although she didn’t win her heat at the Bull’s Eye, Ballymoney’s gorgeous Rebekah Shirley was crowned Miss Northern Ireland in 2014, so if you think you have what it takes to follow in the steps of Rebekah, Joanne, Catherine, Fiona and Lucy enter now for the heat at the Bull’s Eye on Thursday, April 21.
Alison Campbell added: ““Every Miss Northern Ireland is different and all of the winners I have put through my hands have all taken different routes and careers.
“Some have used Miss Northern Ireland to their benefit to move forward and others have gone back to their own lives.
“Probably the most successful and well known Miss Northern Ireland is Zoe Salmon who went on to present Blue Peter and has carved out a successful television career. I am so proud of her and how successful she is but I am also proud of what they have all achieved because they have all achieved something personally.”
For further information, telephone Miss Northern Office on (028) 9080 9809