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Sunday 26 October 2014

Celebrity Diary: Diana Donnelly

It may be hard to believe, but I studied accountancy for my final year in UCD as part of my commerce degree.

I've heard all the jokes about how I must be great with figures, but now I can say with absolute certainty that I have absolutely no desire to become an accountant! I know it's just not right for me.

I found out a week before the contest finals that I got an honours degree so I was really happy with that as it was such a tough course. It's great to have an understanding of business as I still don't know what I'm going to do.

I started off my week with a Pretty Woman-style shopping spree in Debenhams on Henry Street with Andrea Roche.

Armed with a €1,000 voucher, we hit the store with a vengeance and ended up spending pretty much all of it in a few hours. Half of it went on shoes as I need lots of high heels for the Miss Universe final.

Andrea was a great person to go shopping with as she kept saying 'you have a dress like that already', or 'you'll never wear that one', whereas I would have just bought them and not thought it out. But she helped me pick out colours that will really stand out.

I always thought I was a girly girl who loves dressing up but, being a typical student, I've just realised I actually only had about four dresses before the competition. Now I've found out that I need a different outfit for every day I'm in the Bahamas competing in the final -- that's 23 dresses!

You also have to do your own hair, make-up and tan every day, and I'll have to wear high heels the whole time. Even though I'm 5ft 8in, I'm going up against girls who are 6ft-tall, so wearing flats is not an option.

I'm flying over on August 1 and the contest is on August 23. I've never been there but I've heard it's gorgeous and my parents are talking about coming over for the last week.

I've talked a lot to Lynn Kelly about what to expect from the competition. She only had a few days after winning the title whereas I have a month, so at least I have more time to prepare. She told me how you have your own minder for the whole contest and they chaperone you quite a bit, so you hardly get time to even see your family.

The whole experience is meant to be brilliant for you, in terms of confidence, so I'm determined just to enjoy it.

The modelling end of it is something I've a real passion for. I did two photo shoots last week, one for the Fourth of July celebrations with Nadia Forde and another one for the National Lottery, which was shot in the Merrion Hotel, where I was draped in all these Rolex watches. It was really cool.

On Tuesday, I had a meeting with the dress designer Brendan Montague who took my measurements and talked to me about what kind of dresses will work best for the competition.

That evening, I tuned into Total Xposure so see how two of my friends were getting on. I modelled part-time for Assets while I was in the second year of UCD, so I would be good pals with Ruth O'Neill and Daniella Moyles and they're both doing really well.

Wednesday was a hard day -- I was up at 5.30am to model on TV3's Ireland AM and that went really well.

I was modelling with Sarah McGovern and Libby Sheehy and it was all kind of edgy, high-fashion stuff, which I loved.

Then it was off to meet with Lili Forberg to do some pics for my portfolio, and then it was off to start my training programme at Educogym, which was part of my prize.

I don't want to lose any weight but I just want to make my muscles stronger and do some strengthening exercises as I'm in for three long, tough weeks over in the Bahamas.

Yesterday, I went to the cinema to see Public Enemies which was brilliant, and this weekend I'm going to take it easy and just chill out. I don't really do the whole Krystle thing, I prefer to go somewhere like Club 92.

A lot of my friends have headed off on holidays for the summer and I probably would have gone with them if I hadn't won the title. The plan was to go island-hopping around Greece for four weeks, which was going to be amazing.

But they're all really happy that I've won the competition and my boyfriend Aaron Foy feels the same. He's a student as well and we've been going out for three years. He was over the moon for me.

They know that this won't change me a bit, though -- I'm still the same person I've always been.

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