The Grand Final of Miss Great Britain 2010 held December 4th was rocked by a major bust-up. A series of damaging rows between the organisers and reigning queen Sophie Gradon saw the beauty being banned from the pageant.
MISS GREAT BRITAIN 2009 SOPHIE GRADON
The Daily Star Sunday can exclusively reveal that 65 years of tradition were broken when Sophie failed to pass on her crown at the ceremony in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. Former hotel worker Sophie, 25, was snubbed after a petty row over travel expenses erupted into an ugly feud on the social networking site Facebook. A statement on the site from Miss GB bosses said: “Sophie Gradon will not be attending the final on Saturday. “She has been demanding that Miss GB pay a train fine that she incurred because she boarded the wrong train. Miss GB cannot encourage irresponsible behaviour and will not be paying any train fines, parking fines, library fines, etc.”
University graduate Sophie hit back, telling one Facebook user: “In my experience, Miss GB is full of false hope and false promises. “It shouldn’t be speculated that girls will be given such opportunities until they actually happen. “FYI Louise – we live in a modern democracy where freedom of speech is a treasured possession.” The exchanges have since been deleted from the online page. Sophie – who works as a marketing director – slammed contest organisers who she claimed wouldn’t pay a £70 ticket fine. She said she went to London on Miss GB work and returned to Newcastle on an earlier, more expensive train. Sophie told the Daily Star Sunday this week: “I was absolutely disgusted to find out it wouldn’t be paid, even though I handed the slip to the Miss GB office – thinking it would be paid. “I got a court summons from the rail company and now I’m being asked to pay £150. “I did so much work as Miss Great Britain and I thought they would pay my train ticket.
Miss Great Britain spokesman Charlotte Lewis said the organisation wanted to encourage contestants and title holders to take responsibility for their actions. She added: “Sophie was not welcome at the Miss Great Britain 2010 ceremony as she has created a lot of bad feelings and has behaved in a very irresponsible way. “We believe she was being unreasonable. We are quite determined not to pay this fine. “We will not pay fines or parking tickets or any costs which were caused by our girls. “We were given a quote for the cost of Sophie’s journey and we paid that on the same day as she paid it. “As far as we know, she couldn’t be bothered to get the right train and was feeling fine on the day it happened.”
Daily Star, London, 12/5/2010.