SHE has been an avid fan of wrestling for years, but now bodybuilder Carly Thornton is on the verge of fulfilling her dream of becoming a professional wrestler.
The 30-year-old from Billericay will be heading to Liverpool in November in a bid to join the roster of the sports entertainment company World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
Over the years, the American firm, formerly known as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), has produced a glut of grappling superstars, including Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and John Cena.
Carly's audition will take place on November 7 and 8, when the WWE brings its SmackDown franchise to the UK.
"I watch a lot of WWE and I love my wrestling," Carly told the Gazette this week.
"I am really excited and I am training really hard."
Carly, of Redwing Drive, has never wrestled before, although she is a keen boxer and weightlifter.
She first started lifting weights at the age of 19, before going on to become a professional fitness model and bodybuilder.
Carly, who is 5ft 6in tall and weighs 11 stone, said: "I was quite heavy at a young age and I hated fitness activities but I just started weight training and realised that I was strong for a female. I loved it."
In the event she is successful, Carly will head to Miami, Florida, where she will train for competition inside the squared circle.
If she is up to standard, she would then be offered a contract and become a WWE Diva, the first British girl to do so since former model and dancer Layla in 2006.
Besides competing against other women, the divas also escort male wrestlers to the ring.
Carly, who works as a TV presenter on The Active Channel, listed John Cena and Aksana as wrestlers she admired and said she would be thrilled to be offered a contract.
She said: "I am quite a tomboy, so it fits into my kind of lifestyle. It is appealing because the women are very strong and very sexy."
For more about Carly, visit www.carlythornton.com