• Short Summary

    INTRODUCTION: An 18-year-old computer student from Venezuela is Miss World 1981.

  • Description

    13 November: (VISNEWS - BILL MCCONVILLE)

    CU PULL BACK TO SV Miss World having breakfast in hotel room
    SV Cameramen
    SCU Miss World interviewed in Spanish

    Background: INTRODUCTION: An 18-year-old computer student from Venezuela is Miss World 1981. Pilin Leon, a towering chestnut-haired girl standing 5 ft 10 1/2 inches tall (179.05 cms), was chosen from a field of 67 London's Royal Albert Hall on Thursday (12 November). Miss Colombia, Nini Gonzales, who's also 18, was second, and Miss Jamaica, 24-year-old Sandra Cunningham, was third.

    SYNOPSIS: For this parade in swimsuits, the field had been pared to 15. Each year, the final attracts viewing audiences of more than 10 million in Britain, and a further 150 million around the world. Each year, it's criticised as a commercial affront to womanhood, but media coverage remains as intensive as ever.

    This time, the fluffiness of some earlier quests was more muted. In fact, a number of contestants had formidable intellectual credentials. Miss India, Deepti Divakar, boasts an IQ of 175 -- higher than many heads of state -- and wants to be the 20th century's answer to Leonardo da Vinci. Miss Korea, Hanna Lee, listed her ambition as wanting to head an international corporation, such as IBM. And Miss Trinidad and Tobago, Rachael Ann Thomas, describing herself as an aesthetician, says she plans to own an international chain of health spas.

    Miss Jamaica, a cosmetologist with high ambitions to won her won business, came third, and received a tiara from organiser, Mrs. Julia Morley. And Miss Colombia had some glitter placed on her dark tresses for being judged as runner-up.

    Senorita Leon from Venezuela had rated five-to-one with bookmakers, but was the clear favourite of the audience. The first prize of GBP27,000 (around 50,000 U.S. dollars) should comfortable pay her way through college to earn her coveted degree in pure mathematics. But, first, she faces the inevitable year of travel, advertising her loveliness, and promoting the contest...as well as raising money for charities. Miss World of last year, Kimberley Santos, was there to drape a sash around her successor, whose crown porches higher above her shoes than that of most conventional monarchs.

    And so to one of November's rituals in London -- drowsy Miss World coming back to earth taking breakfast with a herd of photographers.

    Senorita Leon told Visnews cameraman in Spanish she felt very happy, and was rewarded with an avuncular peck on the check. After her year's whirling around the globe, Miss World may have concentration problems at first when she settles back with the computer printouts at the University of Simon Bolivar.

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  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
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