Miss World 1970
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|Miss World 1970|
Miss World 1970 Titlecard
|Date||November 20, 1970|
|Presenters||Michael Aspel, Keith Fordyce, & Bob Hope|
|Venue||Royal Albert Hall, London, UK|
|Debuts||Africa South, Grenada, and Mauritius|
|Withdraws||Chile, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, and Paraguay|
|Returns||Ceylon, Hong Kong, Italy, Malaysia, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Thailand|
Miss World 1970, the 20th edition of the Miss World pageant, was held on November 20, 1970 at Royal Albert Hall, London, United Kingdom. 58 contestants competed for the Miss World. Jennifer Hosten from Grenada won the crown of Miss World 1970. She was crowned by Miss World 1969, Eva Rueber-Staier of Austria. However the event was marked by controversy in the days beforehand, during the contest itself and afterwards.
|Miss World 1970|
- Africa South, Grenada, and Mauritius competed in Miss World for the first time.
- Hong Kong and Puerto Rico last competed in 1959.
- Spain last competed in 1964.
- Malaysia last competed in 1966.
- Ceylon, Italy, and Thailand last competed in 1968.
- Philippines last placed in 1968.
- Ceylon places for the third time, last placed in 1963.
Protests and controversy
There was controversy before the contest began because the organisers had allowed two entries from South Africa, one black, one white. On the evening of the contest, a bomb exploded under a BBC outside broadcast van in an unsuccessful attempt by the Angry Brigade to prevent the contest being televised. There were no injuries. The audience then had to enter the hall past noisy demonstrators who were penned behind barricades.
During the evening there were protests by Women's Liberation activists. They held up placards, shouted, blew whistles, and threw smoke bombs, stink bombs, ink bombs and leaflets onto the stage. The comedian, Bob Hope, was also heckled during the proceedings.
Even greater controversy then followed after the result was announced. Jennifer Hosten won and the black contestant from South Africa was placed second. The BBC and newspapers received numerous protests about the result and accusations of racism were made by all sides. Four of the nine judges had given first-place votes to Miss Sweden, while Miss Grenada received only two firsts, yet the Swedish entrant finished fourth. Furthermore the Prime Minister of Grenada, Sir Eric Gairy, was on the judging panel. Inevitably there were many accusations that the contest had been rigged. Some of the audience gathered in the street outside Royal Albert Hall after the contest and chanted "Swe-den, Swe-den". Four days later the organising director, Julia Morley, resigned because of the intense pressure from the newspapers. Years later Miss Sweden, Maj Christel Johansson, was reported as saying that she had been cheated out of the title. (Eric Gairy was overthrown as Prime Minister of Grenada on March 13, 1979 while he was at the UN by the New Jewel Movement led by Maurice Bishop, whose father had been murdered by Gairy's men.
Julia Morley's husband, Eric Morley, was the chairman of the company (Mecca) that owned the Miss World franchise. To disprove the accusations, Eric Morley put the judging panel's ballot cards on view and described the complex "majority vote system". These cards showed that Jennifer Hosten had more place markings in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th positions over Miss Sweden and the other five finalists. Julia Morley then resumed her job. However many still felt Sir Eric Gairy on the judging panel had influenced the other judges to give Jennifer token placings.
- O'Shaughnessy, Hugh (25 August 1997). "Obituary". The Independent.