At sixteen years of age, Hazell left school to work as a hairdresser. Her colleagues persuaded her to try her luck at modelling (she later quit hairdressing)and she enrolled at Lewisham College to start a City & Guilds in fashion, but was not at the college for very long. At seventeen, she competed in The Daily Star's. Search for a Beach Babe contest and won. A friend told her about The Sun's Page 3 Idol competition. Despite some initial uncertainty about entering the contest, she submitted some photos. She was eventually chosen the winner in December 2004. She won ÃÂ£10,000 worth of sexy clothes and a one-year membership of the Rex cinema and bar. Three cast sculptures were made of her bust by sculptor Leigh Heppell. Two are in the Sun offices and one is in her house.