A MUSICAL theatre student has been crowned the new Miss Colchester.

Chelsea Clarke, of Bourne Court, Colchester, wowed judges with her confidence, elegance and poise.

The Colchester Institute student, who works part-time for Heart FM, will now compete in the semi-finals of Miss England on June 14.

Chelsea entered the competition after a friend convinced her to. In keeping with traditional beauty pageants, the contestants had to parade in swimwear.

Chelsea said: “I wore a swimming costume with a wrap instead of a bikini, as I’m used to doing dance shows in leotards.”

The 18-year-old beat 13 other girls, but solidarity among the contestants was high.

Chelsea’s fellow contestants rushed to her aid after she mistakenly sprayed glitter gel in her hair. She said: “They all rushed to help me get it out before I went back on stage.”