'I get paid to look this good': Carrington man Neil Ovenell makes final of Britain's Best Groomed Man
NEIL Ovenell gets paid to look this good.
But even when he's not working, professional model Neil, 31, always gets it right.
Now he's chasing a title to prove it. Neil, of Carrington, is one of 30 finalists in the Britain's Best Groomed Man contest. The winner will be chosen by a public online vote.
It has a serious side – it's sponsored by luxury shaving brand The Bluebeards Revenge and men's cancer charity Orchid, and they're using the publicity to give men a message about being on the lookout for early cancer warning signs.
"Regular grooming not only makes you look and feel more confident, it gives you an opportunity to take an active interest in your physical wellbeing," Orchid chief executive Rebecca Porta said. "The bathroom is the prime place for men to check for signs of male cancer.
"Our research shows that three-quarters of UK men recognise that a lump in the testes could be a sign of testicular cancer – but 25 per cent still never check their testes. Checking testes takes less than five minutes and is a vital first step. If cancer is caught early enough, there is a 98 per cent chance of survival."
Neil still remembers the time six years ago when his dad was diagnosed with lymphoma. He watched as his father went through chemotherapy.
"You see your dad as your rock, and you don't like it when you see their decline," he said. "They have to get worse before they get better with cancer."
Neil's dad did get better. It's something that makes Neil feel even more strongly but he knows that can be a tough sell. "I think guys are very blasé in general about going to the doctor's," he said.
"Something that could be cancerous should give you the extra emphasis to say, 'OK, at least I should go in and ask the question'."
Neil, who grew up in London but remained in Nottingham after attending Nottingham Trent University, didn't expect to make it this far in the competition.
"I do see it as an opportunity," said Neil, who hopes to shoot a full-length film this year and has other acting projects, include an appearance in a video game.
About 1,000 men entered. They were whittled down to 100, then 50 and now the last 30. "It was a surprise," he said. "It was a very pleasant surprise."
You can vote for Neil at bluebeards-revenge.co.uk/bgvote/.
UK charity Orchid focuses on research, information and awareness about cancers that affect men. To learn more, visit orchid-cancer.org.uk.