Darcie’s winning grin

IPSWICH: She may only be 11 months old, but little Darcie Todd has already proved she can work the camera.

Darcie triumphed in a nationwide hunt for the most beautiful baby and, as a result, has made it as a cover star.

Her cheeky grin will also appear on the packaging for a range of baby medicines, meaning her face will reassure nervous new parents across the country.

Parents Abigail and Buster Todd, of Clapgate Lane, Ipswich, sent off a family snap after seeing the Beautiful Baby 2010 contest advertised in Practical Parenting magazine earlier this summer.

“I did it on a whim,” said Abigail. “Like any mum, I think my baby is beautiful, so I just sent a picture in.

“When I entered I submitted a poem about Darcie, which I wrote really quickly as the closing date for the competition was looming.

“I put that ‘She’s the most special baby you’ve seen in a while’.”

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And with her wide-eyed smile and stunning hair, Darcie certainly is.

She caught the judges eye and was selected as the winner for the East Anglia region.

The family were invited to London for a photo shoot where they met with nine other regional finalists.

“All the other finalists were lovely too, so I didn’t imagine Darcie would win,” said Abigail.

“We just thought it would give us some special memories. It was a chance to go to London and have lots of photos taken.

“We kept all of the articles about her and so Darcie can look back on the whole experience when she is older.

“But it would seem she is rather good in front of the camera, she was quite the star on the day.”

The photos from the shoot all appeared in the magazine and Darcie was eventually named the overall winner.

As part of the prize, Darcie’s winning photo appears on the cover of the current issue of Practical Parenting and she has another professional photo shoot lined up with Dentinox, makers of baby medicines and specialist cosmetics.

“Her face will be on the boxes of teething gel and baby shampoo, it will be lovely to see her,” said her proud mum.

However, Abigail revealed that she did have second thoughts about entering her baby daughter into a modelling competition at such a tender age.

“I was a little hesitant because I was worried people would think I was a pushy mum, but I am not like that.

“Now I feel genuinely proud of her, it is great to think everyone else feels she is beautiful too,” she said.

Grandmother Linda Lester, also of Ipswich, added: “They had something like 10,000 entries and each time they whittled it down she got through.

“The fact she was chosen out of so many babies and so many pictures is fantastic. She was born in Ipswich Hospital last year and we think she is a true Ipswich star. We are all very proud of her.”