A 50-YEAR-OLD mother-of-three from York has won a national modelling contest.

Deborah Hirzel, who was already Classic Miss York 2018/19, took the title Classic Miss British Isles 2019, open to women over 45, in a contest held in Chester last night.

Deborah, of Clifton, who was wearing a dress from local designer Antonia Houston Couture and was sponsored by Tancream, said today: "I don’t think I’ve ever come first in anything other than running races and athletics when I was in school so I am absolutely delighted.

"As it is the first time they have had a classic category (45+) I am the very first person with this title.

"The event atmosphere was fantastic.

"I was just thrilled to step back onto the catwalk in my crown and new sash in front of the audience for official photos and the news is still sinking in today. I couldn’t sleep last night and I’m still on a high."

The main prize is £1,500 including a modelling and promotional contract.

Deborah has told previously how she turned to modelling in her 40s – while working as a dinner lady at her youngest child's school, Clifton With Rawcliffe primary.

Trained as a dental assistant, she gave up work to raise her three children – aged 21, 14, and ten – and had decided to return to work as a teaching assistant, getting a job helping at lunchtime to gain some experience.

She said she believed the demand for older models will grow. "I look forward to modelling in the 50-plus market. Times are changing and finally we are seeing older people advertising products aimed at the older market. It is about time. I’m just getting started and I’d love to think I’ll still be doing this in my 60s and 70s."