Mr Gay UK

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Mr Gay UK contestants at the Manchester Gay Pride parade in 2006

Mr Gay UK is a British annual beauty contest for gay men, with regional heats held in gay nightclubs with a grand final usually at a gay venue.

It began in 1982 as "Mr Hardware" (named after a fragrance) designed to promote a gay mail order company. The event, held in the Heaven nightclub, was filmed by the BBC as part of a documentary entitled Something For the Ladies.

In 1984, the competition name was changed to Mr Gay UK.[1][2] Since then, the event has been recorded for video release (1993), featured on a Channel 4 series, Passengers (1994) and the event itself was broadcast on Five in 1998 and 1999.

In 2008 the first winner of the contest, Anthony Morley, was convicted of murder and cannibalism.[3]

Mr Gay UK Winners[edit]

Previous winners at Europride 2006
Year Winner Hometown Profession Heat Won
1993 Anthony Morley Leeds Body Heat @ The Ritzy, Doncaster
1994 Andy Bingley Mansfield Hooligan Cruz 101, Manchester
1995 Lance Trimble[4] Birmingham Subway City, Birmingham
1996 Roy Fairhurst[5] Leeds DJ Primos II, Leeds
1997 Sean McVeigh[6] Manchester Cruz 101, Manchester
1998 Ben Harris[7][8] London Builder's Mate
1999 Jack Banks Mansfield Full time #wasteman
2000 Harry French Glasgow Lifeguard Bennets, Glasgow
2001 Carl Austin[9] Manchester Events Manager Cruz 101, Manchester
2002 Rob Conn[10] Bristol IT manager Queens Shilling, Bristol
2003 Jarrod Batchelor[11][12] Newport, Isle of Wight Fireman
2004 Mark Roberts[13] Walsall Plasterer The Golden Lion, Walsall
2005 Richard Carr[14] Birmingham Supermarket Manager The Nightingale, Birmingham
2006 Mark Carter[15] Huddersfield Police Officer Birmingham
2007 Daniel Broughton Blackpool Stage Manager Flamingo Club, Blackpool
2008 Dino Gamecho Cardiff Student Ritz, Manchester
2011 Samuel Kneen Cardiff Hairdresser
2012 Leroy Williamson Scarborough Team Manager Mission, Leeds
2013 Stuart Hatton[16] South Shields Dance Teacher

Since 2005, the winner has gone on to represent the UK in Mr Gay Europe. No contest was held in 2009, 2010, and 2014.

2011 Contest[edit]

As with previous years, heats for the 2011 contest were held in various gay venues across the country. Participants could apply in advance directly with the venue, or just turn up on the evening and complete an application form. In total there are 14 finalists from the heats that took place between September and October 2011.[17]

Voting In this year the rules and the feeling of the competition were changed. A public vore was put into place and contestants were expected to campaign for votes in any way they could. Each finalist could receive votes through a premium rate phone and text number, a 'like' on their individual Facebook page and a Twitter and E-mail vote accessible from the main Mr Gay UK website. Voting ended on 29 November 2011 and the five finalists were announced. They were Greg Lumley - Middlesbrough, Charlie Drummond - Bristol, John Wheeldon - Leeds, Nik Chapman - Newcastle and Samuel Kneen - Cardiff, who eventually went on to win the competition

Promotion A media relations push was made on the competition with articles appearing in local and regional media and radio, but also had national coverage in and the three of finalists appeared on Loose Women bringing on Julie Goodyear

The Final The grand final was held on Saturday 10 December at Mission 2 in Leeds.[17] Judges included Kieron Richardson from Hollyoaks, Rob Gunn from the competition's sponsor Manhunt and photographer Jay Eff


Presenters have included Dannii Minogue, Lily Savage, Jason Donovan, Mark Little, Robbie Williams, Jane McDonald, Terry George (entrepreneur), Richard Newman, Nadia Almada, Brian Dowling and Philip Olivier and judges have included Jean Paul Gaultier, Michael Cashman, Danny La Rue, Scott Neal, Lea Walker, Jonathan Kerrigan, Su Pollard and Christopher Biggins. In 2007, the presenters were Andy Scott-Lee and his wife Michelle Heaton.[1] The judges were Shahbaz from Big Brother 2006, James Sutton of Hollyoaks, long-standing Adam Lowe of Bent magazine and The Sheilas of Sheila's Wheels. The event was hosted at Flamingo's nightclub in Blackpool, where Daniel Broughton (also from Blackpool) won.

Notable Contestants[edit]

Mr Gay 2001, Carl Austin-Behan, became the 119th Lord Mayor of Manchester in 2016, serving until 2017.

Mr Gay UK 2003, Jarrold Batchelor, went on to appear in the Channel 4 reality series, The Games.[1]

In 2006, police officer Mark Carter made national headlines when he won the competition.<[15]

Mr Gay UK 1998, Ben Harris, became the winner of the Channel 4 show Playing It Straight in 2004.

Mr Gay UK 2007, Daniel Broughton, has since entered the gay pornographic industry, modelling for British gay porn company EnglishLads.[18]

Mr Gay Newcastle 2007, Charlie Drummond, became a Big Brother housemate in the 2009 series, where he sparked an "are they?/aren't they" relationship with fellow bisexual housemate Rodrigo Lopes. He made it to the final, finishing in 4th place.[19] Drummond later went on to become Mr Gay Bristol 2011.

Mr UK 2010 finalist, Paul Wallwork, has gone on to compete in further pageants and earned himself the title of Mister Supernational Manchester in 2011 and won the Best Hair heat.

Mr Gay UK winner 2011, Samuel Kneen, made headlines by donating prize money to HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust.

Mr Gay UK winner 2013, Stuart Hatton, is noted as the most successful 'Mr Gay' as he went on to represent the United Kingdom in Austria at Mr Gay Europe and was second runner up. Two months later Hatton travelled to Rome, Italy to represent the United Kingdom once more as Mr Gay UK but this time at The Mr Gay World Contest where he won the Mr Gay World title and therefore becoming the first ever United Kingdom winner to receive the global award. In 2014 Hatton was awarded the Mr Gay UK Title for a 2nd year for his LGBTI Activist roles. Making him the only ever man to hold the Mr Gay UK title for two years. He is the founder of the anti bullying and homophobia awareness campaign 'So What' The mission statement being, "Some of us have green eyes, some of us have blue eyes, some of us are straight, some of us are gay.. SO WHAT!" The campaigns asks for supporters of all different ages, nationalities and sexualities to upload selfies of themselves to social media platforms, with the words 'So What' written on the palms of their hands to help battle homophobia around the world. Hatton has appeared on the cover of many worldwide Gay Magazines.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Pidd, Helen (1 September 2007). "Soldiers and a sailor in fight to be Mr Gay UK". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2007.
  2. ^ Richard Conrad Glover (30 September 1988). "Gay UK Alive And Kicking". Sydney Morning Herald (Australia). p. 15.
  3. ^ "Former Mr Gay UK who killed and cooked victim guilty of murder". PinkNews. 2007-10-17. Retrieved 2008-10-18. Check date values in: |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  4. ^ "Oh Boy, Paula, Lance's gay day, Paula Yates at the Mr Gay UK contest". Daily Record. 30 May 1995. p. 9.
  5. ^ "Jason Looks a bit Queer; He sweats and stutters through gay contest; Jason Donovan gets into a sweat at Mr Gay UK contest". Daily Record. 28 May 1996. p. 3.
  6. ^ Paul McCann (28 February 1998). "Miss World is ousted by Mr Gay Universe". The Independent (London).
  7. ^ "Only my mum knew, says Mr Gay UK". Evening Herald (Plymouth). 29 May 1998. p. 24.
  8. ^ "Mr Gay UK 1998".
  9. ^ "So.. Graham Norton Falls for Mr Gay UK; Revealed: Secret love of TV star". The People. 9 June 2002.
  10. ^ "Bristol man is named Mr Gay UK after 'joke' entry". Bristol Evening Post. 11 September 2002. p. 4.
  11. ^ Sam Mann (29 August 2003). "Jolie Good Fun At The Movies, A Gay Time With The Boys and a Rockin' Awards Do". The Mirror. p. 3.
  12. ^ "Mr Gay UK: I slept with lots of girls". The Sunday People. 25 April 2004. Jarrod Batchelor, 24, took the drastic action when he was bullied at school because of his sexuality.
  13. ^ "Gay Crown". Birmingham Post. 30 November 2004. p. 2.
  14. ^ "Store boss scoops title". Birmingham Mail (England). 30 November 2005. p. 19.
  15. ^ a b "PC Carter, UK Mr Gay, Triumphs at International Mr Gay Contest". The Press Dispensary. 22 January 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2008.
  16. ^ "Mr Gay UK 2013". All Points North Publications Limited. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  17. ^ a b "Mr Gay UK 2011 Finals". Mr Gay UK website. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  18. ^ "Dan Broughton". Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  19. ^ Andrew Douglas (4 June 2009). "Big Brother is just the job for North-East contestant". The Northern Echo. Charlie Drummond won the Newcastle heat of Mr Gay UK in 2007 and has worked as a model in the past. The 22-year-old, who works in customer services for the JobCentre, says his favourite part of his job is walking into the office in the morning and saying Good morning angels to his colleagues, who reply Good morning Charlie. Charlie, from Newcastle, thinks he has a good chance of winning BB - now in its tenth year.

External links[edit]