TINY toddler Deryn Baxter has finished ahead of hundreds of Capital cuties to be named this year’s Top Tot 2012.
The pretty 14-month-old pulled in more than 11,000 Evening News readers’ votes via newspaper coupons and text messages following the launch of the competition last December.
Mum Kerry, 25, from Drylaw, has told of her joy after her “wee cutie” scooped first place and a £1000 cash prize.
She said: “It’s all a bit mad. She wouldn’t have won if it wasn’t for my mum, Deborah Kelly, and her partner Stevie Booth, who have rallied the whole family to vote for her.
“My friends have all been brilliant too. We formed a wee kitty and bought several copies of the paper each day just to get the double-vote coupons.
“I’m going to set up a savings account for her and put the money in there. She can decide what she wants to do with it when she’s older.
“She loves Peppa Pig and we were going to take her to see the show in Musselburgh Racecourse this Sunday anyway, so that can be a real celebration treat now.”
More than 67,000 votes were cast in total, comprised of double-vote coupons and texts.
Coming in second place this year was Kyla Doyle, who had more than 6000 votes.
Two-year-old Kyla’s mum Stephanie, from Stenhouse, said: “I know it’s second place but we’re still over the moon about it.
“Hundreds of kids entered the competition so to finish second out of all of them is no mean feat.
“I’d like to say thank you to all my family and friends who voted for Kyla too.” Third place went to Parker Jorjah Anderson Brown, who received more than 3000 votes.
The competition began back in December when the Top Tots team visited Cameron Toll Shopping Centre, Ocean Terminal, the Gyle and Livingston Designer Outlet Store.
Over 400 photos were taken of tots under five years old, and these were eventually whittled down to just Top Tot Deryn.
Kerry added: “I couldn’t believe it as she kept making it through the rounds. I had dressed her as an elf to visit Santa’s Grotto at Ocean Terminal and just thought that since we were there I should enter her in the competition. I never for one minute thought that she’d win it.
“She’s a real wee cutie in the photo, it’ll be fantastic to have all the snaps and the newspapers for her when she’s older.”
Scotsman promotions manager Susannah Morgan, who ran this year’s competition, said: “The level of interest and enthusiasm shown in the competition is incredible, and once again we were inundated with entries and votes.
“We’ve had a busy couple of months totting up those votes and supplying shops with extra copies of the paper because of sell-outs throughout the city.
“Of course, we’ve also been greatly impressed by the level of cuteness of all the babies.
“Congratulations to Deryn and her mum Kerry, and all the others who made up our top ten.”