Open main menu

Leilani Dowding (born 30 January 1980)[1] is an English former Page 3 girl, glamour model, television celebrity, and the UK representative at Miss Universe 1998.

Leilani Dowding
Leilani Dowding publicity shot.jpg
Born (1980-01-30) 30 January 1980 (age 39)[1]
Alma materRoyal Holloway, University of London
OccupationGlamour model
Years active1998–present
Spouse(s)Richard Palmer (divorced)
RelativesChris Dowding (father)
Zena Dowding (mother)
Melanie Dowding (sister)
Modelling information
Height1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Hair colourBrown
Eye colourBrown


Early lifeEdit

Dowding grew up in Bournemouth, and has a younger sister Melanie. They were brought up Roman Catholic by their Filipina mother Zena, and British father Chris.[1] Leilani was named after her mother's cousin and her name means "heavenly flower".[2]

Dowding and her sister attended St Peter's School in Bournemouth. She gained eleven GCSEs and three A-levels.[1] She began an economics degree at Royal Holloway, University of London, in Surrey, with the intention of becoming a city trader.[3] The then-18-year-old entered and won the 1998 Miss Great Britain competition.[4] In Hawaii later that year she became the first woman of Asian descent to represent Britain in the Miss Universe pageant.[1]


After her success in beauty pageants, Dowding dropped out of university to pursue a full-time modelling career. Although she had not originally considered topless modelling, she started appearing as a Page 3 girl in The Sun in 1999.[1] Her younger sister Melanie ("Mel") Dowding also had a brief career as a model.

In 2003 she was rated #89 on the FHM Sexiest Women in World list.[5]

Dowding has been a guest on various British television shows, modelling on the Big Breakfast and This Morning, and appearing on Faking It, Celebrity Wrestling and Celebrity Fear Factor. She has also enjoyed a season in pantomime as Tiger Lilly in Peter Pan.[1]

Dowding appeared on a charity Page 3 episode of The Weakest Link where she lost out in the final round to Jakki Degg. Dowding was competing on behalf of the RSPCA and breast cancer charities.[6] She joked before the show: "I look forward to using my brain for the first time in three years."[7]

Dowding has competed in celebrity poker tournaments and done promotional work for Ladbrokes.[1][8][9]

She also appears in the American TV Reality Show Tough Love Miami, in which she deals with her own superficiality in order to find a suitable mate.

She has visited Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Cyprus on morale-boosting trips for British troops abroad.[1]

She appeared in the December 2011 issue of Maxim U.S.[10]

She featured on The Millionaire Matchmaker (Series 8 Episode 10).

Dowding has her own clothing line, the Leiluna Collection.[citation needed]

Personal lifeEdit

Dowding has been engaged to former Wimbledon and Northern Ireland defender Mark Williams and was engaged to former Middlesbrough attacker Jérémie Aliadière.[3][11] She was briefly married to restaurateur Richard Palmer – ex-husband of Raquel Welch, and is now divorced.[12][13]


In 2014, Dowding uploaded a photo of herself dressed as a murdered Native American chief. This was considered extremely offensive by Indian Country Today News.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Biography". Leilani Dowding's Official Site. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
  2. ^ "Leilani Dowding". Archived from the original on 6 June 2008. Leilani was my mum's cousin's name, it means heavenly flower
  3. ^ a b John Aizlewood (15 January 2006). "The top 10 footballers' Page 3 playmates". The Times. London: News International. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  4. ^ "Student Leylani Dowding carries off the Miss Great Britain Universe honours". BBC News. 12 March 1998. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  5. ^ "The Sexiest Women In The World 2003" Archived 19 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine. FHM. Retrieved on 4 May 2012.
  6. ^ Beauty and the beast (From Dorset Echo)[permanent dead link]. (27 April 2002). Retrieved on 4 May 2012.
  7. ^ Giovanni Iozzi (13 July 2002). "Jakki has the most up top!". The Sun. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  8. ^ Rajesh Modha Tops off a Million Dollar Night! | PokerNews. (16 December 2006). Retrieved on 4 May 2012.
  9. ^ Ladbrokes Poker Vegas Dream Packages Archived 7 September 2012 at (30 March 2009). Retrieved on 4 May 2012.
  10. ^ Tweet (4 November 2011). "Leilani Dowding". Maxim. Archived from the original on 22 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  11. ^ Meet The Cast Of Tough Love: Miami. (7 September 2011). Retrieved on 4 May 2012.
  12. ^ Russell, Stacey (14 October 2011). "Leilani Dowding Talks Tough Love Miami, Divorce, and Show Drama". Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  13. ^ Julie Moult (22 July 2013). "Even her poor dog looks embarrassed as Leilani Dowding draws attention to herself with peculiar paddleboard yoga |". Daily Mail. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  14. ^ "Is This Model Wearing the Most Disgusting Native American Halloween Costume Ever?" Indian Country Today News. 5 November 2014.

External linksEdit