A CONTESTANT in this week’s semi-final of the Miss England competition strutted her stuff make-up-free, the first time such a radical move has been executed in the pageant’s 94-year history.

The Diary isn’t entirely convinced that politics student Melisa Raouf is a genuine revolutionary.

A more forward-thinking decision might have involved her not entering a looks-based ego fest in the first place.

Saying that, the Diary has to admit that we are also obsessed with surface appearances.

Our staff members are encouraged to write at their desks adorned in top hats, tailcoats, kid gloves, polished spats and muttonchop whiskers, waxed and curled.

And that’s just the women.

The chaps are so haughty and shallow that they demand muted office lighting and their own personal beauty consultants to ensure their best sides are always on display. (Their best sides tend to be an aerial view, glimpsed from an altitude of 36,000 feet, with cloud cover enhancement.)

Does all this vainglorious vamping improve the stories that we publish? Here’s some classic tales from our archives to prove that it definitely does…

Boozy badinage

A READER told us about a chap who worked in a Glasgow south-side taxi office who always drank Jim Beam American whiskey in the pub afterwards. This resulted in the taxi drivers nicknaming him The Despatcher on The Rye.

Mind your language

MANY parents now happily text their children, which isn’t always appreciated. One Glasgow teen showed us a text from his mother, in reply to one of his which contained the usual abbreviations.

Texted his mother in reply: “It’s before, not b4. I speak English, not bingo.”

Love hurts

A TALE of romance – Glesga style. A reader from that fair city once heard a chap in his local boozer tell his pals: “Yes, I love her. I’d take a bullet for her… well, in the leg, anyway.”

Real pain

A READER, fed up with folk going on about their summer hols, told us: “Pretend you’re on holiday in France by going to a baker’s twice a day like you’ve never seen a baker’s before.”

Trash talk

A READER getting the bus into Glasgow was much taken with a couple of pensioners behind him discussing a mutual friend.

“She saw a pair of shoes she fancied in the charity shop, but said they were too dear,” said one of the ladies.

“Too dear in a charity shop,” replied her pal. “What’s she going to do, then? Rummage through bins?”

Clean getaway

“I SAW a guy drop litter,” said a bloke in a Glasgow pub. “I like my city, so I just picked it up and didn’t say anything to him.”

“What was it?” asked his pal.

“A tenner,” he replied.