East Belfast man and freelance broadcast producer, Marcus Hunter-Neill, is a finalist in this year’s Specsavers’ Spectacle Wearer of the Year. He now goes forward to the next stage of the competition and could win the chance to be part of the glitzy Spectacle Wearer of the Year awards night in October and the top prize of £10,000. As a regional finalist, Marcus receives a bottle of champagne, a certificate and a £150 glasses voucher.

The campaign which was launched earlier this year by Strictly Come Dancing and the Greatest Dancer star Oti Mabuse, also raises cash for children’s anti-bullying charity Kidscape. For every entry accepted Specsavers have donated £1 and over half a million pounds has been generated for the charity in the past 10 years.

Oti along with stars of TV, radio and film will be VIP guests at the awards night at top venue 8 Northumberland Avenue in London, when one overall winner will scoop the top prize and the title, ‘Specsavers’ Spectacle Wearer of the Year’.

Marcus who has worn glasses for the past six years said he was thrilled to be a regional finalist and explained he had decided to enter his selfie pic to mark the 50th anniversary of Pride and Stonewall and to encourage others, particularly those in the minority to feel good about themselves.

“I’m a huge advocate of people who feel disenfranchised and I also support young people who are being bullied through my role as a local ambassador for Kidscape. I’m delighted to be part of this Specsavers competition as it raises much needed cash to help young people and their families who have been affected by bullying. I believe strongly that everyone should have pride in their glasses they can make you look so chic and cool!”

As well as working in broadcasting and for a sports company, Marcus is also a drag artist and performs on Saturdays and Sundays in Belfast bar Maverick, as well as being part of numerous Pride events.

“As my drag persona Lady Portia Di’ Monte I also wear glasses on stage as I feel specs can really add to your look and make a real fashion statement. I would encourage anyone who wears glasses to have fun and feel fabulous and try out lots of very different frames and styles.”

Congratulating Marcus, Connswater Specsavers store manager Stuart Brown said, “I’d like to congratulate Marcus on being selected as a regional finalist and wish him all the very best for next round of judging. Living locally in East Belfast, Marcus has been a regular customer at the Connswater store and always experiments with new styles and is a superb ambassador for glasses.”

There are eight categories including a social media winner voted for by the public. All category winners who reach the grand final will win a VIP make-over, with one overall winner taking home the ultimate accolade in specs wearing.