BY TOBY PORTER
An NHS consultant has been shortlisted to compete in this year’s Miss Universe.
Gemma Gordon, 24, from the Oval, will compete against 40 women at the pageant in South Wales this July.
The vicar and piano teacher’s daughter’s day job is finding and recruiting mental health practitioners across the country.
She is also a regular actor in Amazon Prime’s Dark Ditties, is currently filming movie Butterfly Beat and will join the cast of a new Second World War series, K-LINES, filming this summer.
She is a graduate of the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts in Wandsworth.
The Camberwell and Bermondsey-raised medic said: “I am really excited to have been chosen as a finalist for Miss Universe Great Britain this year and will be doing all that I can in the next few months to prepare.
“Miss Universe is one of the biggest pageants in the world and I think it’s going to be a huge adventure as well as a lot of fun. “I grew up in a modest, humble but very loving family.
Wherever my father was relocated to, homelessness was prominent in the area.”
So she is now partnered with Centre Point to encourage young women to seek help, and find a safe place off the streets and also develop a strong and healthy emotional way of life.
She said: “I am passionate about getting young women who are vulnerable off the streets – to get a job, get their life back with grace, class and a bit of attitude.”
In the run-up she will be tasked with a series of challenges and fundraising for A-Sisterhood – an organisation which supports the advancement of women worldwide.
This year, funds raised will go to Llamau, a homeless charity in Wales which runs special projects to help homeless women, the National Centre for Female Genital Mutilation, which aims to put an end to the practice by 2030, Stop Acid Attacks in India, which helps survivors of acid violence, and The Black Mambas which is South Africa’s first all-female anti-poaching unit protecting the rhino.
The final, from July 11-13, will include a Bring a Bra Ball organised for A-Sisterhood, with finalists and their guests donating bras which will be sent to women in Africa in association with Smalls for All; an empowerment day led by one of the UK’s foremost leadership coaches; and a catwalk show before a panel of judges from the beauty and fashion industry.
She is hoping to follow in the footsteps of current title-holder, 25-year-old Dee-Ann Kentish Rogers, a barrister and former Commonwealth Games athlete from Birmingham, who won the 2018 crown.
National director of Miss Universe Great Britain, Paula Abbandonato, who interviewed Gemma and put her through to the next round, said: “Pageantry in the UK is more popular than ever before, and we have the most amazing line-up of young women from England, Scotland and Wales vying for the crown this year.
“It’s going to be an excellent competition and I wish them all the very best of luck.”