bobby dazzler! A West Yorkshire policeman has been crowned
Mr. Gay U.K. 2006. Mark Carter, 23, was voted
Britain's sexiest gay man at Blackpool's
About 50 of his
colleagues were there to cheer him on--in T-shirts
bearing his picture--and he had the full backing
of West Yorkshire Police in taking part in the
As one of 23
regional finalists, he stripped down to a skimpy swimsuit to
reveal his tanned, toned body to celebrity judges including
Big Brother's Lea, Su Pollard, Rowetta,
and Anita Dobson. He also appeared in a police-style
outfit including a stab-proof vest during a
"dress to impress" section.
absolutely 100% over the moon," Carter said. "Two years ago
I used to cry myself to sleep at night, I was so daunted by
the prospect of coming out, but when I did, it was the
best thing ever. I was so happy I could finally be
from a very straight background and upbringing, I played
football, I was a sports captain, I had girlfriends," Carter
continued. "I thought telling people I was gay would mean no
one would want to know me, but at the Mr. Gay U.K.
final I had more people together, supporting me, in
one place, than I've ever had in my life."
colleague Maureen Hales, one of the party who came along in
matching T-shirts bearing his photograph, said, "Mark
is great. I knew he'd win, he's so
down-to-earth. He's lovely."
Carter, who lives
in Bradford, won PS5,000 in prizes and will embark on a
year of personal appearances and photo shoots. He was
representing Birmingham in the contest after winning
the city's regional heat at the Nightingale
club on a night out.
Carter came out
to his colleagues a couple of months after he joined the
police force and says he's had support from the
people he works with. Mr. Gay U.K. is chosen via text
votes and on-the-night voting, on the basis of looks,
personality, and "x-factor."
"Mark is a
great example of a young gay man achieving his goals in
life," said competition organizer Terry George, adding, "If
anyone assumed it was just bimbos that entered competitions
like this, Mark's proving them wrong."