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. 


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. 


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.