Page last updated at 01:45 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Soldier is Miss World contender

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A serving soldier who was crowned Miss England has been given special leave to join her colleagues in Afghanistan next year - after she has taken part in Miss World.

Lance Corporal Katrina Hodge, 21, joined other beauty contestants in London to launch the Miss World 2009 Festival.

She was drafted in to take the title after the previous Miss England stepped down.

L/Cpl Hodge said she hoped taking part in the competition would help charities working with British servicemen and women.

Sarah Smith reports.

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