Ex-beauty queen Pearl Jansen relives Miss World moment, 50 years later

Miss World's sop to apartheid surprised the world, but was forgotten at home

02 February 2020 - 00:00 By CLAIRE KEETON

"I thought it must be a prank," says Pearl Jansen of the phone call she received last year. After decades of living in seclusion in Bonteheuwel, Cape Town, Jansen was invited to London to revisit her experience of being runner-up in the Miss World beauty contest in the UK in 1970.

British movie director Philippa Lowthorpe wanted Jansen to attend a VIP screening of Misbehaviour, Lowthorpe's upcoming film about the controversial 1970 beauty pageant at London's Royal Albert Hall, where feminists hurled flour bombs at host Bob Hope, where the first black Miss World was crowned, and where SA's double entry, based on racial separation, caused a furore...

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