A FORMER Wirral catwalk star who once rubbed shoulders with Hollywood A-Listers is urging Globe readers to enter a competition to find the borough's next fashion starlet.

Anita White said the Miss Wirral contest, held at Pyramids Shopping Centre on September 27, could be the springboard to a glittering catwalk future for the winner.

The contest, organised by Heswall-based Frame Model and Casting Agency,  is open to girls aged 16-30 who either live in Wirral or have close connections to the area. At stake is a £1,000 prize package.

Anita, an ex-bank clerk from Gayton was crowned Miss Liverpool twice and went on to a successful career as a model and screen extra.

Urging people to sign up for Miss Wirral, she said: "As I know from my own experience, entering competitions like this builds confidence, broadens the mind and gives you the chance to meet people you’d never usually meet.

"It can also be a springboard to other exciting things such as modelling or screen extra work as it has been for me. I'd encourage as many girls as possible to get involved."

Anita was in her mid-teens when her mother suggested she enter the Miss Liverpool contest in 1978.

It led to an incredible year as an official ambassadress for Liverpool at a host of events in and around the city at which she met some of the biggest stars of the day including legendary comedians Ken Dodd and Canon and Ball and Hollywood superstar James Mason.

Anita said: "The prize money for winning the Miss Liverpool title was £1,000, which was an incredible amount for the time.

"But apart from the money I had a fabulous year representing the city at all kinds of events including factory visits and social occasions.

"Among the famous people I met at some of the engagements I had were Ken Dodd, who was a laugh a minute, Canon and Ball, who were just full of fun when I switched on Liverpool’s Christmas lights with them, and the screen actor James Mason who was extremely charming when I was with him at a country fair in Cheshire."

While her "day job" was as a cashier with the Midland Bank, where she eventually stayed for 25 years, Anita went on to win a total of eight beauty titles, including another Miss Liverpool crown, Miss Prestatyn and the national Miss Midland Bank, during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Casting sessions for Miss Wirral will be held at Pyramids shopping centre on Friday and Saturday September 5 and 6 and Friday and Saturday, September 12 and 13, from 10am until 4pm.

Laura Seymour, co-founder of Frame Model and Casting Agency, said: "I wanted to use my expertise in the business to create a competition which is close to the heart of the Wirral and carries a local title which the winner will be proud to hold.

"It could also be the perfect passport to a career in modelling for the girl with the right attributes of looks, pose and personality.

"To ensure that the competition has the right local connections I’m delighted to be working closely with Pyramids which is at the very centre of Wirral life.

"Both our casting sessions for the contest will be at the shopping centre, which will also provide the perfect venue for the grand final, and we will be encouraging people to vote for the winning girl on Pyramids' website."