A HUDDERSFIELD policeman is in the running to be Mr Gay UK.
Mark Carter, 23, will take his place among 25 finalists at Blackpool's famous Flamingo Club on Friday, September 29.
He has the full backing of West Yorkshire Police in his efforts to be crowned Britain's sexiest gay man.
Mark has been a police constable for almost two years. He patrols Huddersfield town centre and outlying districts.
He won the Mr Gay Birmingham heat at Nightingales nightclub in the city on the spur of the moment during a night out.
Mark says: "It was about 5pm on the day of the heat and my friend from Leeds and I couldn't decide whether to head for Birmingham - where I have family connections - or Liverpool for a night out.
"We went to Birmingham - and the rest is history!
"The police are obviously a disciplined organisation and I wasn't sure how my bosses would feel about me competing to be Mr Gay UK.
"So the next day I had to tell them I was Mr Gay Birmingham! Thankfully, they are supportive and I've been given the official go-ahead."
He was persuaded to get up on stage, never expecting to win. Mark has never modelled before - but his good looks and personality impressed the crowd.
Mark, who lives in Bradford, says: "I go to the gym every other day. I also do a lot of running."
He came out as gay to his colleagues a couple of months after he joined the police and says he's had support from the people he works with.
Whoever is voted Mr Gay UK, on the basis of their looks and personality, will make personal appearances through the year and act as a role model.
One of the competition organisers, Terry George, says: "It's brilliant that Mark's in the running.
"He's a great example of a young gay man achieving his goals in life.
"If anyone assumed it was just bimbos that entered competitions like this, Mark's proving them wrong."
Former winner Jared Batchelor achieved further success in Channel 4's The Games, raising thousands of pounds for vulnerable gay teens' charity the Albert Kennedy Trust.