Miss World’s biggest scandals as bikini round returns – from nude leak to murder

Miss World is bringing back its controversial bikini round.

For the first time since 2014, there will be a Top Model show where contestants can enter a beachwear competition.

This will be surprising to some as the swimwear catwalk show was axed seven years ago as judges put their focus on “brains and personality” rather than “physical beauty”.

Some celebrated the news – especially as feminists once protested at the Royal Albert Hall to get the raunchy runway removed.

Pictures that date back to the 1970s show campaigners with placards and throwing flour bombs on stage.

But this is far from the only scandal to rock the Miss World contest over the years. Here we take a look back at the biggest controversies in the pageant’s 70-year history.

Stripped down

American Marjorie Wallace won the 1973 contest at 19, but was the first winner to be fired, 104 days later for “failing to fulfil the basic requirements of the job.”

Miss World officials stripped her of the title after she was spotted snogging married singer Tom Jones while engaged to racing driver Peter Revson – who was tragically killed in a crash two weeks later.

Marjorie, who was also known for dating football lothario George Best, survived an overdose of sleeping pills.

Naked truth

Germany’s Gabriella Brum, 18, who was Miss World in 1980, resigned the following day saying that her boyfriend disapproved.

But it later emerged that she had posed naked for photos.

Brit difficult

There have been five British Miss Worlds including Rosemarie Frankland, Ann Sidney, Lesley Langley and Sarah-Jane Hutt.

But Welsh winner Helen Morgan became the first to resign after it was revealed that she was the unmarried mum of an 18-month-old son – even though this didn’t technically break the competition’s rules.

Murder and mayhem

Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, was set to represent Honduras at the 2014 contest but was murdered – along with her sister – by her sister’s boyfriend, just days beforehand.

The 1998 winner, Israel’s Linor Abargil, was raped at knifepoint and stabbed just before competing by a travel agent who was later convicted.

And a 1966 contestant, South Africa’s Johanna Carter, was the victim of an attempted kidnapping by students who hoped to ransom her for charity.


The 1976 competition was boycotted by several nations over Apartheid policies in South Africa as there were separate black and white contestants.

The 2002 Miss World had to be re-located to the UK from Nigeria after religious riots, while it was moved to Bali form Jakarta, Indonesia in 2013 after Islamic protests, with a sarong replacing swimwear.

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