A FORMER cage fighter who competed as the only man in a pole dancing competition scooped a prize.
Although he didn’t finish in pole position, James Burman, from Fulwell, was awarded the People’s Choice Award at the Northern Pole Princess competition.
After spending eight years training and sparring with European MMA champions, which led to a professional fight, the 39-year-old joined a pole dancing class in a bid to find a new keep-fit challenge.
Just six months after joining classes at North Pole Dance in Newcastle, he was selected to compete in last weekend’s competition.
James, who is married to Nadia, said: “To describe my performance, I would say imagine if your dad had joined The Chippendales.
“I always set out to camp it up and blow kisses to the audience.
“I don’t have the grace and poise of the female competitors, so I went from the comedy angle instead.”
Since the Echo revealed James’s unusual hobby last month, he has caught the attention of the national media, even appearing in Katie Price’s column in The Sun.
He said: “I was surprised at how much interest there is in it and how unusual people thought it was.
“But overall everyone’s been positive and said ‘good on you for doing what makes you happy’.”