Mismatched couple win ‘punching above your weight’ competition

WINNERS ... Sunderland's Stephen Black and his wife, Paula, have won Metro Radio's Punching Above Your Weight contest.

WINNERS ... Sunderland's Stephen Black and his wife, Paula, have won Metro Radio's Punching Above Your Weight contest.

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IT’S official – Wearsider Stephen Black is punching above his weight.

The 36-year-old, originally from Hylton Castle, Sunderland, and his wife, Paula, have been crowned the winners of a Metro Radio contest, bagging themselves a five-star holiday to Corfu.

The couple entered the Newcastle-based station’s Punching Above Your Weight contest as a laugh, and because Stephen was told by his friends that Paula is better looking than him.

They received 1,724 votes from Metro Radio listeners – 255 more than any other couple.

Paula, 42, who runs Paula Louise Hair Design, on the Hedworth estate, in Jarrow, said: “We were really shocked, but very happy.

“It was dead nerve-wracking, but a really good experience to be part of. We entered for a laugh and it was good fun to be part of it.

“We’re so excited for the holiday.

“We didn’t want to look at it before in case we didn’t win, but we’ve been having a look at it and it looks amazing.”

Paula met Stephen, who runs Team Black MMA gym, in Ryhope, on a blind date four years ago and the pair tied the knot in September, and now live in Jarrow.

Paula added: “We got married last September so we’re going to have the holiday this September and it’ll be a nice little honeymoon and anniversary trip.

FINALISTS ... Liam and Victoria Barrett, from Chester-le-Street, are in the final of Metro Radio's Punching Above Your Weight contest.

FINALISTS ... Liam and Victoria Barrett, from Chester-le-Street, are in the final of Metro Radio's Punching Above Your Weight contest.

“It’ll be lovely to have a holiday just the two of us and our daughter Chloe is really excited to go and stay at her auntie’s house for a week.

“I’ve been to Corfu, but years ago, so it’ll be lovely to go back.

“Stephen has taken the whole thing really well – which is a good job, really.

“It was just a good laugh and 
we’ve had a lot of fun. Stephen is even getting a makeover too.

It’ll be lovely to have a holiday just the two of us.

Paula Black

“A clothes shop in Alnwick have said for us to get in touch and they’re going to give him a haircut and shave and some new clothes.

“We’re really chuffed to have won.”

Two Wearside couples had also been shortlisted for the prize but missed out.

Dave Scott and Sarah Oliver, from Sunderland, met when they was just 15 years old and Dave was working in Specsavers.

Dave, 22, of Burnside, met Sarah, 24, became friends and says he finally managed to get out of the “friend zone” three years ago, but he believes he is ‘punching above his weight’.

Liam and Victoria Barrett, from Chester-le-Street, work together at energy company Utility Wise, in North Tyneside, and have two children James, four, and Emily, three.

Liam, 25, and Victoria, 26, celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary yesterday.