Miss Great Britain loses title over fling with judge

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When George Best was asked about his interests off the football pitch, heonce said: "I used to go missing a lot ... Miss Canada, Miss United Kingdom, Miss World."

But even a man whoconsidered spending 90 per cent of his money on women, fast cars and drink to be financial common sense might have raised his eyebrows at the latest encounter between a footballer and a fame-hungry beauty contest winner.

Miss Great Britain yesterday denied bringing the pageant into disrepute after she was stripped of her title in a row centred on a £7,000 pair of Jimmy Choo shoes and her relationship with the oldest player in the Premiership.

Danielle Lloyd, 22, won the title in February after receiving a vote from the veteran West Ham striker Teddy Sheringham, who was on the judging panel. The couple are now in a relationship, which Ms Lloyd, who was crowned after she won a public telephone vote, insists began when they met at the after-show party.

But in an interview in the women's magazine Eve, the beauty queen describes spending Christmas Day 2005 with Mr Sheringham. Ms Lloyd recounts how Mr Sheringham, 40, took her to the London shop of the shoe designer Jimmy Choo to be fitted for a pair of bespoke stilettos by placing her feet in a tray of plaster.

She told the magazine: "I'd no idea Ted was planning to treat to me to such an expensive pressie. We were still in bed when I opened my present.

"I flung back the sheets and sprang up to try on my new shoes. Ted says he'll never forget the sight of me prancing round the room wearing these incredible, extravagant stilettos."

Unfortunately, the news was not greeted with similar joy by managers of Miss Great Britain Ltd.

Citing Ms Lloyd's disclosure about the shoes and forthcoming topless photographs in Playboy magazine which were contrary to an "oral agreement" not to appear semi-nude while Miss Great Britain, the company announced it was stripping her of her title.

Robert de Keyser, the chairman, said in a letter to Ms Lloyd: "Mr Sheringham was the only judge to vote for you. The Miss Great Britain company had no prior knowledge that you were in a relationship with Mr Sheringham either before or during the final of the competition. Therefore, you have brought the pageant into disrepute."

The company, which placed a large red cross over the photograph of Ms Lloyd on its website, said there was no suggestion of complicity between Mr Sheringham and his girlfriend.

Ms Lloyd said her remarks had been about a "fantasy Christmas Day". A spokeswoman said Ms Lloyd, who appeared on the BBC 1 programme Test the Nation this year and said she thought Winston Churchill was America's first black president, would not be appealing against the decision because she accepted the Playboy photographs breached the pageant rules.

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