South Shields man bids for Mr England title
James Hatton, 26, attended open auditions in Leicester for the competition and completed a series of rounds, including a cat walk and a photoshoot.
James, a sports therapist, was then chosen as a judge’s choice to proceed straight to the last round.
James, who is from the Westoe are of South Shields, will now have to prove himself to the competition’s judges in order to claim the Mr England title.
He wants to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Stuart Hatton, who won a Mr Gay World title in 2014.
James said: “I’ve always been involved in charity work, communities of all ages and dealing with the public.
“Having seen my older brother enjoy the journey and see the new experiences he has gained from winning and achieving his title, I’d like to think I could perhaps achieve even a little of the same.”
In the final this summer, contestants will take part in a number of different rounds and in the lead up will also be raising awareness of two charities - Beauty With a Purpose and LoveBrum.
James added: “It’s been an amazing process. Like a little emotional rollercoaster.
“Hopefully I can do not only South Shields proud but the North East too.”
“I want to bring the sense of Geordie whit and humour and a gentle charm of the north to the role. The finals will certainly be something special.”
The University of Sunderland graduate will join other hopefuls from the region in the final at Resorts World in Birmingham on July 14.