Mr Gay UK helps boost Birmingham Pride

Mr Gay UK helps boost Birmingham Pride event - This year Mr Gay UK has chosen Birmingham to host it's annual event. Helping boost the cities Pride event at the same time, together it will make a successful year for both of them. On the a-list to aid in judging this years competition include Danny La Rue, Scott Neal & Jonathan Kerrigan. Mark Little recognised by most from Australian Soap Neighbours and Comedian, will host it 

Mr Gay UK 1997 Final

The Dome II in Birmingham was packed with party goers and support teams from all over the country for the final of Mr Gay UK. The crowds were drawn in by the prospect of gorgeous bodies parading the cat walk and entertainment by a glittering line up of celebrities. The evening was hosted by that guru of style and sophistication (not) ex 'Neighbours' and 'The Big Breakfast' star, Mark Little, and, the atmosphere certainly hotted up as bodies from Southampton to Edinburgh strutted their stuff. 

The judging panel was brimming with gay icons, Danny La Rue, Jonathan Kerringham, 'Sam' from 'Casualty', Russel Porter, 'Tim' from 'The Britas Empire', and, Scott Neil and Tameka Empson - stars of 'Beautiful Thing'. The judges certainly had their work cut out as the competitors were hot,hot,hot and there were 27 to choose from. Each contestant danced on the stage and then told the audience and judges a little about themselves, such as what they did for a living, hobbies and the thing that made the audience laugh the most, the contestants most embarrassing moments. 

During the judging process the crowds were entertained and the atmosphere became very tense and exciting. The results included two of the top three prizes going to contestants from the Gay-Zette N region. Third place went to James Falconer from Edinburgh, second place Richard Curtiss from Nottingham and the winner of Mr Gay Uk was Shaun McVeigh from Manchester who will take over, Roy Fairhurst's, crown 

The party continued and the champagne flowed in to the wee small hours over at Birmingham's Street Life, and, we had a new, Mr Gay UK from the 'Gay-zette' region. Congratulations to Shaun from all at, 'Gay-zette N'. 

Shaun at Red Raw

'he first birthday party of the monthly gay bash, Red Raw, took place this week at, Club Nato, in Leeds. To celebrate in true party style, the night included the first public appearance of the 1997 winner of the 'Mr Gay UK' contest, Shaun McVein, from Manchester. Shaun, won the title out of 27 finalists only the previous week in the 'Grand Final' at, The Dome, in Birmingham. 

Training 

Shaun, a lift engineer from Wigan, was the finalist from nightclub 'Cruz101' in Manchester, and was really surprised that he won this heat, let 
alone the final. When asked if it was a relief that the contest was all over, Shaun replied, "Most definitely, yes! The four weeks prior to the final was really nerve racking, I had to watch my diet and weight very carefully, and there was also a lot of training to do." He added, "The competition was tremendous and I was made especially nervous as I had never actually been on stage before." 

Shaun, is obviously a natural with his prowess to enthrall the crowds and judges in Birmingham; enough to take home the coveted title and, £5000 prize money. With all that spare cash what is he planning to do with it? He says, "I am in the process of moving from Wigan to Manchester, so, the money will come in very handy to help with that, and, my mum is 50 this year, so, I am paying for her to go on a cruise (ahhhhhh bless)" 

Shaun's friends and family were all very supportive of him entering the event; his sister and his straight friends went down to the final and cheered him on to victory. His boyfriend, lain, also gave him lots of encouragement although he found it hard to stick to his strict diet of chicken and noodles when lain was eating ice cream. chips and Chinese. 

Future 

When asked about the atmosphere back-stage, Shaun, confessed that there was inevitably an amount of bitchiness between the contestants but he put it down to people using it as a way of coping with nerves. He says, "Everyone seemed to have their own groups around them so we didn't come into contact all that much as all the contestants were very busy." 

Well, it's certainly going to be a busy year for, Shaun, who describes his hobbies as Rugby, Water skiing and Music. His ambitions include motorcycling through the countryside of Europe and Scandinavia. "I've got lots of PA's lined up and there will be some involvement with this year's 'Pride' in london, and, the Manchester 'Mardi Gras' which I think is very exciting with it being in my home town". 

By Mark Fitzgerald.