WHEN 16-year-old schoolgirl Stella Moore became pregnant, she thought she had lost any chance of chasing her dream job.

But three unplanned children later and still only 22, Miss Moore has beaten 4,000 other hopefuls to the finals in the national modelling search contest Top Model UK 2013.

The former pupil of The Cherwell School, Oxford, now a single mum living in Botley, will join 16 other finalists at the show in London in April.

Miss Moore said she was nervous modelling in a bikini at her audition in November after having Reggie, five, Reuben, four, and Tilly, two, but nerves faded as she took to the stage.

She said: “I was really nervous before the bikini walk because there were about 30 other people there watching me.

“But once I started walking it was fine. I knew I only had one chance. And I am actually in much better shape since I had my kids. “I don’t smoke or drink anymore and I eat a lot healthier foods.

“I probably smoked about 15 a day and got drunk every day. I stopped for my kids. “I enjoy everything a lot better now and regret all that at school.”

Miss Moore has broken up with the children’s dad and wonders how she will cope going back and forth to London over the next few months, although she says her sisters who live in London will help out. She said: “Having kids has taken over my life for five years and I have put them first for a long time, so it is nice to take the chance.

“I just thought when I got pregnant that was it, but it is nice to have something different to do as well as looking after them.”

She added: “I’d always been told to model by people.

“I just thought, this year I want to go for it, since my youngest is now a little older.”

The finals, at The Hilton Metropole in London on April 13, are expected to attract an audience of 1,500 people.

Miss Moore and the other competitors will be judged by a panel of five industry experts on three catwalks in different outfits.

Model scouts will be at the finals to cast for London Fashion Week in February 2014.

Miss Moore was placed in the high end fashion category, often for designer catwalks, rather than the commercial category, often for catalogues, despite being half an inch short of the 5ft 7in minimum height.

The annual national competition is now in its sixth year.

Prizes are photoshoots, international travel and a trophy.