Page last updated at 13:53 GMT, Saturday, 7 November 2009

Soldier given beauty queen duties

Katrina Hodge
Katrina Hodge is a part-time model and a soldier in the British Army

A soldier has been given leave from her duties to represent England in the Miss World competition.

L/Cpl Katrina Hodge, 21, from Tunbridge Wells, will take over from the previous Miss England who stepped down after her arrest over an alleged nightclub brawl.

Organisers of Miss England said 21-year-old Rachel Christie wanted to concentrate on clearing her name.

Miss Hodge, nicknamed Combat Barbie after being commended for bravery in Iraq, will take on beauty queen duties.

Gladiator Tornado

She was first runner-up in the 2009 national contest.

L/Cpl Hodge has been given leave from her duties as a soldier in the British Army and will represent England in the Miss World final in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 12 December.

She was previously given an award by her unit in the Royal Anglian Regiment for her actions during a posting in Basra and has earned the nickname Combat Barbie.

Rachel Christie
Rachel Christie is the niece of former Olympic sprinter Linford Christie

Miss Christie became involved in a dispute with another beauty queen, Miss Manchester, Sara Beverley Jones, at a Manchester nightclub earlier this week.

Miss Jones, 24, was allegedly punched in the face after an argument said to be about Tornado, a 22-year-old Gladiator who appears in the Sky1 series and whose real name is David McIntosh.

It is believed that Miss Jones, a club promoter and would-be actress, is an ex-girlfriend of Mr McIntosh while Miss Christie is his current partner.

Miss Christie, athlete Linford Christie's niece, was the first black woman to be crowned Miss England and is also a heptathlete who hopes to win a medal at the 2012 Olympics.

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