THE daughter of Southend West MP David Amess is not following her father into politics - but she's still hoping to pick up votes of a different kind.

Katie Amess has just reached the final rounds of an international beauty contest.

The 22-year-old actress from Westcliff is in the semi-finals to be the British contestant of the Miss Earth 2008 pageant.

If she gets the vote to be the country's entrant, she will travel to the Philippines to compete against finalists from more than 100 other countries.

She said: "Essex girls can be beautiful, talented and intelligent and I hope I can be a role model for the younger generation by showing them just because you have beauty doesn't mean you can't have brains.

"I studied hard at St Bernards High School and got 3 A*s, 6 As and 2 Bs for my GCSEs, an A and 2 Bs for my A-levels, a 2:1 in my degree and a Masters in advanced theatre practice from the Central School of Speech and Drama."

Katie works at Shelter, the homeless charity in London and is also an actress. She has just returned from Hollywood where she filmed a pilot for the entertainment channel E.

Her most recent UK credits include playing Paris Hilton in a Nintendo advert and Frau Heidi in the E4 show Funny Cuts.

She said: "Miss Earth 2008 is the only beauty competition in the world devoted to raising awareness of our environment.

"It is also one of the biggest televised beauty competitions in the world, with over 100 countries participating."

England's entrant to the competition will be picked at a live final in Chelsea on July 14, at the Collection Nightclub.

In August she will be on the catwalk again in Basildon for Miss Essex FM 2008.

The Miss Essex FM Final will be at Liquid & Envy, Basildon Festival Leisure Park, from 7pm-9pm on Thursday, August 28.