Leilani Dowding (born 30 January 1980) is an English former Page Three girl, glamour model, television celebrity, and Miss Universe contestant.
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. Leilani was named for her mother's cousin and her name literally means "heavenly flower".
Dowding and her sister attended St Peter's School in Bournemouth. She did well in school, earning eleven GCSEs and three A-levels. She studied for an economics degree at Royal Holloway, University of London, in Surrey, with the intention of becoming a city trader. The then eighteen-year-old entered and won the 1998 Miss Great Britain competition.In Hawaii later that year she became the first woman of Asian descent to represent Britain in the Miss Universe pageant.
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 Three girl in The Sun newspaper in 1999.Her younger sister Melanie ("Mel") Dowding also had a brief career as a model, during which the sisters posed topless together. Melanie is working as a promotional model in the motorsport industry.
In 2003 she was rated #89 on the FHM Sexiest Women in World list.
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.
Dowding appeared on a charity Page 3 episode of The Weakest Link where she lost out in the sudden death round to Jakki Degg. Dowding was competing on behalf of the RSPCA and breast cancer charities.She joked "I look forward to using my brain for the first time in three years."
Dowding has competed in celebrity poker tournaments and done promotional work for Ladbrokes.
She also appears in the American TV Reality Show Tough Love Miami as a contestant/performer/particpant, in which she deals with her superficiality in order to find a suitable mate.
She has travelled to Bosnia, Kosovo. Iraq and Cyprus on morale-boosting trips for British troops abroad