MR North East is hoping to wipe away the region’s negative image he believes TV reality show Geordie Shore is creating.
Nathaniel Smith won his crown at last month’s Miss Sunderland final, and now hopes to emerge triumphant at the Mr England final, with backing from a Wearside business.
“The area’s reputation has suffered with Geordie Shore,” said the 25-year-old.
“But I want to show it in a positive light and put the area on the map.
“I’m not going to the Mr England final for a holiday, I’m going there to win and represent the North East in the best way possible.”
Nathaniel will travel to next month’s Mr England and Miss England finals in Birmingham with Miss Sunderland Philippa Attle, 17, after they impressed judges to win their titles at Rainton Meadows Arena.
The newly crowned pageant prince, a call centre worker, said: “I’ve had a bit of stick from my mates and a few digs at work, but it’s all good fun.”
He added: “I’ve been modelling for the past year now, so I’m not really nervous about the final. I’m just looking forward to it.”
Nathaniel, from South Shields, has teamed up with Sunderland businesswoman Jodie Breeds, of 24 Carat salon in Grangetown, and London-based suit designer Patrick Joseph to hold a charity fashion show at the Roker Hotel.
The event, on June 23, will raise funds for Help for Heroes and the Variety Club ,and will feature mens and womenswear.
Patrick, who is designing Nathaniel a £2,000 bespoke suit for the Mr England final, said: “The show will feature hand-made suits as well as some more relaxed clothes.
“I’m very proud of Nathanial and I think he will go far.
“As a designer it’s a joy to see your clothes worn by someone with such confidence. Hopefully the suit will help him bring the title home.”
Nathanial is sponsored by 24 Carat, based in Windsor Terrace, and owner Jodie is hoping the event will help promote his campaign to win.
She said: “We teamed up to host this event after meeting at the Miss Sunderland and Mr North East event.
“As a salon, we have raised money for Help for Heroes before and wanted to do something again.
“It’s also a great way of raising Patrick and Nathaniel’s profiles.
“I hope people will come along and support what we’re doing.”
•Tickets for the fashion show, which starts from 7pm, are £15 and include a three-course meal.
They are available at 24 Carat, from 567 65 65, or by emailing Jodie_24carathairandbeauty@yahoo.co.uk.
To join the Facebook group search “Charity/Fashion show event for Mr Northeast.”