They say good looks run in the family and it is especially true of Leah Newman and her mother, Sandie.

Leah, 19, has taken the Miss Euro Sussex Crown, 22 years after her mother was crowned Miss Hastings.

It is the latest in a string of modelling accolades Leah has secured since launching a career in modelling in 1999 after herself twice being crowned Miss Hastings.

However, Leah, a former Grove and Hastings College student, said her younger teenage years were beset by insecurities about her looks.

She said: "I had buck teeth with braces and really wasn't very good looking at all. In fact, I was a real tomboy who was always hanging out with the boys playing football.

"It was probably because I had two brothers and no sisters that I was like that. But when I turned 16, I grew my hair longer and became interested in fashion."

Since then Leah, of Silverhill, St Leonards, whose measurements are 32C-24-34, has not looked back, clinching a deal with New Bond Street jeweller Asprey and Garrad to model jewellery worth £1 million.

The Miss Euro Sussex Crown is the first step for Leah on the road to becoming Miss World, with the next heat being the Miss Euro England contest on October 20.

Judges, including Spice Girl Emma Bunton, will cast their eyes over Leah's charms at the contest in Clacton to see whether she will go forward to the next heat.

Career-wise, she is interested in television presenting. She said: "It would be ideal if I could combine modelling with television work. I enjoy modelling a lot, despite the long hours and hard work involved.

"But to become the next Denise van Outen would be great."

Mother Sandie, 44, said: "She has a lot of talent and I'm proud of her. It was me who pushed her into modelling and she has done fantastically."