Stuart Hatton: Mr Gay UK 2013
We catch up with this year's lovely Mr Gay UK winner
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What did it feel like when you first heard you won Mr Gay UK?
It sounds a bit clichéd but it was all a bit kind of slow motion really. When I was announced it was all rather X-Factorish in the way the other lads gave me a group hug and helped me to the front of the stage. Unlike X Factor, however, all the lads meant it sincerely [laughs]. All the finalists were worthy winners and lovely gents, and there was such a camaraderie on the evening that we were all supporting each other. It was an amazing feeling to win and the adrenaline kept me up all night. I never got any sleep. I just lay in bed and stared at the ceiling until it was time for breakfast. The following evening I must have slept for 14 hours straight though.
Did you think you would ever win?
I am a positive thinker and believe in achievement of all my personal and professional goals. I think all the lads wouldn’t have entered the competition if they didn’t think they had a chance of winning Mr Gay UK and I was the same. It’s kind of all like that book, The Secret, if you can dream it and you can think it, then you can achieve it.
What made you enter?
I originally entered Mr Gay UK to set myself a goal with my personal trainer, Grant Henson. We thought that if I had a goal to aim for then we could aim for higher things while in our gym sessions together. So what started out as a personal goal has turned into a crowning achievement and I am proud to be able to use my voice as a representative for the LGBT Community with in the UK for the coming year.
What would you say to any other men hoping to become Mr Gay UK?
You know what, if you want to enter Mr Gay UK, JUST DO IT! No one ever achieved anything by sitting at home all day. If you want something so bad, you gotta work for it. Believe in yourself, have a bit of courage, take that leap of faith and you never know where you will end up.
What’s your routine for keeping fit?
I wake up usually at 6am and I go to my personal trainer, Garnt Henson’s Studios. I'm usually half asleep and walking like a living zombie when I train at 7am and basically what he puts me through is pure hell, which he likes to call strength and conditioning training. It involves heavy compound movements and hypertrophy training, so basically short rest periods in between sets. I think that the key to myself staying lean comes down to dancing almost eight hours a day as well.
Have you got a man in your life at the moment?
Yes I do... my cat, Merlin! I have had him for three and half years now and along with his mother, Midnight, they keep me busy and take up most of my spare time. He is the main man in my life and is not shy of giving me kitty cuddles after a long day dancing my dance studios.
What would you say your type is?
THOR! My type is Thor, The Norse God of Thunder or Chris Hemsworth-Hatton as I like to call him; I think the double barreled name suits him [laughs]. But, seriously, the type of guy I go for is someone who makes me laugh. Laughter in my opinion is a very powerful tool indeed. Even better, if you can make me laugh AND you love Star trek then you're a winner in my books.
What’s the weirdest chat-up line you've ever heard?
I like your shirt, it would look great on my bedroom floor… BARF!
As a child you were taken to your mother’s dance classes, do you think she has had a big impact on your life?
Yes, 100%. I started dancing with ‘Me Mam’ when I was 13 months old, so really I've known no different. Dancing to me is like walking. Most people can't remember learning to walk and I can't remember learning to dance. Me mam has always been there to support me; she trained me to dance until I was 10 years old, apparently that's when I stopped listening to her as teacher. She then sent me off to be coached by some big names in the dancing world, then I went back to lessons with her at the age of 16, where she put me through my professional dance qualifications with the NCDTA. At the age of 28, I'm now a qualified British Championship Adjudicator and the trainer of many British champions and winning teams. All of this wouldn't have been possible without the dedication and support that I got from me mam, both as an amateur dancer and a professional teacher in my own right. We now work together in the family dance studios in South Shields and, granted, we might want to kill each other every now and again, but we have the best relationship.
How does she feel about you winning Mr Gay UK?
I think she is very proud. Me mam is a very open and honest person and she is enjoying bragging to her friends about my win. I love me mam. She is amazing. Oh, and she's a Star Trek fan too!
What’s next for you?
I'm looking forward to representing the UK in the Mr Gay Europe Contests and Mr Gay World in 2014. I hope I can do my country proud.
Follow Stuart on Twitter: @hattondancer
Words: Lee Dalloway (@Leeroydalvin)