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Pageant life sure isn't pretty

Beauty Queen or Bust

Beauty Queen or Bust

9pm, Channel 4

The crowning glitz of the international Miss World competition has to start somewhere.

This series follows some of the young entrants hoping to make it through the regional beauty pageants in Blackpool, Hull and Wolverhampton (are there really none in Scotland? What happened there?).

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Truly, truly, it is a difficult business especially when you're also trying to find a job, start a business, complete your education, or live on your own for the first time.

These kids are young.

Tonight's first episode follows three entrants in the Miss Black Country heat as they go thought the rigorous preliminary rounds -interviews, bootcamp and catwalk - to see if they have got what it takes.

It's a bit like a toxic blend of X Factor and My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Why do young women put themselves through this most mysoginistic of contests in the first place?

Ah, but you see that's not fair.

Hopeful 18-year-old Diamond was kicked out of school for "being naughty" and now worries about ever finding a job.

Will she have the self-control it takes to get to the final?

And her rival Sammy Jo has been unemployed for the past two years and lives in a hostel with other jobless teenagers.

Surviving on the dole is a constant struggle, especially with the added pressure to have perfect hair, make-up and dresses for the pageant.

And 19-year-old Natalie has a long list of places that have refused her work -from a job packing frozen chickens, to a role as one of Santa's elves.

She's decided to take matters in to her own hands and with the profits of her fledgling mobile hair extension business, is saving to buy the perfect pageant dress in a bid to be crowned Miss Black Country.

Bless. Are you ready for this? Really?

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