A HERO coronavirus nurse is swapping her scrubs for sequins and tiaras in a bid to be crowned Miss England.
Lizzy Willis, 22, applied to the national beauty contest after struggling to sleep following a gruelling night shift treating Covid-19 patients.
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The nurse has been working flat-out at the intensive care unit at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, since the outbreak swept the UK.
She was inspired to apply to Miss England by Dr Bhasha Mukherjee, who took a career break as a junior doctor to win last year’s competition.
Lizzy, of Maida Vale, West London, who is also a British Army reservist, has now made it through to next week’s virtual semi-finals.
She said: “It was really really random.
“I couldn’t sleep after a night shift one day and I was reading some news articles and I came across the previous winner, Bhasha Mukherjee, and saw she’s a doctor “I just thought ‘oh I could do that’ I had a look at the website and just decided to send in an application and managed to make it to the semis.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the contestants will not meet each other or the judges in person.
They will be connected via the video calling app Zoom and submit their entries remotely.
Lizzy added: “The remote nature of it has definitely made it very weird.
“We had a trial run the other day and it was quite interesting seeing everyone up on the screen.
“I guess when you’re in person you kind of have a lot more freedom with your body language and how you present yourself and what you wear and things.
“When you’re just sitting in front of a screen, I have only got a phone screen to record on.
“You’ve just got that tiny window to present yourself and sell yourself, so it is tough.”
Lizzy started her nursing career just before the coronavirus outbreak last December and has been working round the clock ever since.
She said: “It has been the busiest and craziest time of my life, definitely in my career. I only just started when this first kicked off.
“I’ve been talking a lot with my family about what’s going on because they’re also in the medical profession, so I know they can really relate to how busy and how crazy it is.”
The Miss England Semi-Final will be held on July 31