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Alison Carroll

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The latest incarnation of Lara Croft is a former gymnast who has performed at a national level.

Alison Carroll, 23, from Croydon, follows in the footsteps of models like Nell McAndrew in the promotional role of the action heroine, as well as Angelina Jolie, who played the part in the film version of the Tomb Raider video game

Miss Carroll has represented Great Britain as a professional display gymnast, and has performed in front of Prince Charles.

She is also a coach for younger gymnasts and recently choreographed the routine for the junior team that won the British National Championships.

Miss Carroll, who beat hundreds of others to be Lara Croft, has now left her day job as a receptionist to start on a grueling training regime.

She will appear at promotions and conferences in character, performing stunts such as back flips, and will play the part in TV commercials.

Miss Carroll will even answer questions on chat shows as Lara, after taking a crash course in archaeology. She said: "I've always wanted to be an action hero."

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