A bodybuilder from South Tyneside is building up to achieving his boyhood dream after he earned a spot in the Mr Universe contest.
Stephen Bingham, of Beaconside, South Shields, has dreamed of making it to the worldwide competition since he was a youngster.
The 50-year-old, who has been bodybuilding for 32 years, earned the coveted spot after finishing in the top six at the Mr Britain contest, in Southport.
He’ll now head back there on October 31 to compete for the title of Mr Universe in the Over-50s category.
Stephen, who trains every day at Market Health Spa, in South Shields, said: “This was the whole thing for me. I’m just totally delighted, it’s been my lifetime ambition to get to Mr Universe and I’m just so delighted that I’m going to get to do it.
“All the hard work has paid off and I’ve got until October so I’m going to endeavour to make some improvements over the next few months to really take my A-game to the contest.
It’s been my lifetime ambition to get to Mr Universe and I’m just so delighted that I’m going to get to do it.Stephen Bingham
“Just getting there is going to be brilliant for me, it’s my boyhood dream.”
Stephen, a spraypainter on an Astute submarine project in Barrow-in-Furness, made it to Mr Britain after winning the National Amateur Bodybuilders’ Association (NABBA) North Britain Over-50s bodybuilding
He has also won NABBA contests on two previous occasions and is a former Mr England class winner and former runner-up of Mr British Isles.
Stephen, who lives with wife Dawn, added: “I really don’t think I’ve got any chance of winning at Mr Universe but just getting the chance to go there is fantastic.
“To place in the contest would be brilliant but I really feel like I’ve achieved something all ready by getting there.
“It was always my goal to get to Mr Universe so I feel like I can tick that box now.”