Miss England in Dubai

We spoke to Alize Mounter, 22, who is in Dubai for St George’s Day

Interview, Hot seat, The Knowledge

So, what’s it like being Miss England?
It’s great. Everything is new and exciting and interesting and different. It’s very exciting, day to day anything could happen.

What do you do all day? Is it a full-time job?
It’s not a full-time role, but it feels full-time. I stopped going to university because I wanted to really enjoy this year.

Right, and what are you duties?
I put myself forward for a lot of charities, and I get to go on travelling trips to promote Miss England. I’m judging the regional Miss England heats and I just came back from Mexico promoting skin care.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to do?
I jumped out of a plane. I was really scared and I have to do it again now. I went to Mauritaus and I swam with the dolphins. They took me to the safari park and I got to see lions and cheetahs up close and stroke them.

What made you want to be Miss England?
I’m very arty. I loved school and I love everything from sports to English, I really pushed myself academically. I went to stage school when I was younger and wanted to perform, but when I was 18 modelling took over. I didn’t know what to do. With the beauty pageant side of things you’re modelling but also putting on a performance. I always wanted to look at these glamour girls as a kid, I thought they were amazing. It was always in the back of my that I wanted to do it and it’s so wonderful I got to do it and give girls inspiration to get up there. It’s basically a dream come true.

A lot of people say this kind of thing is outdated.

It’s not outdated in other countries in the world, it’s just the British, unfortunately. In every other country they celebrate these competitions and have a lot of respect. I think it will come back in the UK. The feminists kind of ruined it and took it out of proportion.

What does St George’s Day mean to you?

I suppose it means how great it is to be English. I see how much other parts of the world respect people from England and the royal family.

But, erm, you’re Welsh, right?
I moved to London a few years ago. I live in England so I qualified.

Who would make the perfect Mr England?
There is a Mr England. I’ve got to say he is pretty good. He’s very posh. But for me, Mr England can only be Prince William. Everyone loves him.

Right, as you’re new to Dubai let’s play some quick true or false – there are real penguins living in Ski Dubai?
Er … true?

Yes! There is a collection of 300 islands of Dubai’s coast called The World?

False! That’s The Palm.

Well, no, there’s that, too. Women aren’t allowed to drive?

You’re right, they can. Next – instead of horses, we race camels in Dubai?
I don’t believe you – false.

Sorry, that was true. But instead of jockeys, we use little robots?

No that’s true, too. The Burj Khalifa was built just for the new Mission: Impossible film?

Correct! Every Emirati family gets free electricity and gas.
Got to be false?

No, it’s true.

Alize will join former footballer John Barnes in hosting a St George’s Day long lunch at The Westin, Dubai Marina, on Thursday April 19. More info www.urbanevents.ae or (04 445 6842).

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