Proud to preen

It's not every day a man admits to moisturising his skin, but Geordie Paul Ogden is no ordinary fella.

Paul Ogden

It's not every day a man admits to moisturising his skin, but Geordie Paul Ogden is no ordinary fella.

The 28-year-old has just come back from the big smoke after accepting GQ magazine's Best-Groomed Man award for Newcastle.

Paul, along with his girlfriend Emma Rutherford, 26, donned his gladrags, polished his shoes and spent longer than Emma in the bathroom in readiness for the swanky magazine award ceremony at London's Covent Garden Opera House.

As he mixed with celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Jeremy Clarkson and Jamie Oliver, Paul swigged free champagne safe in the knowledge his beauty regime could match any A-lister's.

Paul, of Stanhope Street, Gateshead, said: "It was a brilliant night, a real celeb party. I couldn't believe who I was mixing with. I had my picture taken on the red carpet as well."

Paul also witnessed first hand the war of words between Rod Stewart and comedian Russell Brand over the singer's daughter Kimberly.

"It was surreal. Russell got up and defended himself against the recent Press stories of a sex attack. He said he was with two consenting females.

"Then a bit later Rod got up and made Russell stand up so he could ask Russell if he had slept with his daughter! Russell sheepishly answered no and then at the after-party he stayed well away from Rod. It was hilarious."

Paul said he was almost rolling around the floor as comedians such as Jimmy Carr and David Walliams tried to outdo each other with their wit.

"My favourite bit was Sacha Baron Cohen's stint as Borat. He was so outrageous he cracked everyone up."

But the glamorous night was not the only prize groomed-to-perfection Paul received as the keen shopper also grabbed £500 to spend in House of Fraser, £200 to spend on Lab Series products and £200 to spend as he wants.

And yesterday Paul made his debut as a model when a huge picture of him, dolled up in his new suit, arrived for display at House of Fraser, Newcastle.

"The photo shoot was actually quite hard work," said Paul, who said he has no plans to take up modelling any time soon.

"I kept having to alter my position for the photographer so I don't think I'm quite model material, although I wouldn't mind the money and the lifestyle that goes with it!

"I didn't like having to wear make-up, though. The woman piled it on because of the lighting but it felt like someone was drawing on my face."

So just how did a former aircraft engineer in the Army top the polls in the north as best-groomed male?

Well, Paul said he likes to spend time on his appearance and judging by the long list of products and procedures he uses it soon becomes apparent why the IT consultant at Newcastle firm Converge was chosen.

Paul's daily regime involves a "quick shower" before cleansing the face then using a face scrub to remove dead skin cells before shaving.

The dapper bloke then shaves with care, applies eye serum, moisturises and finally does his hair.

Former Jarrow School pupil Paul grew up with four younger sisters but he said rather than bring out his feminine side, they did the opposite and he joined the Army at 16.

"I was never interested in grooming when I was younger. I was just a typical lad. I joined the Army to escape my sisters," he jokes.

Paul said his interest in skincare started about two years ago when one morning after a heavy night out he noticed he had "`started to age".

"To start with I just had a go with some moisturiser lying around the house. It felt nice on my skin and I suppose it's grown from there.

"I've really noticed a difference, though, and I definitely get more attention round town when I'm out with my mates.

"I like to look after myself, that's all. I don't think it's a big deal personally," he said.

But skiing enthusiast Paul admits his brush with fame has not gone unnoticed by his football team-mates or his dad Derek, 50. "Oh, they've had a right laugh at it all, but I wouldn't have expected anything less," he said.

Derek, says Paul, is a typical man's man and wouldn't have a clue about cleansing, toning and exfoliating.

"I think he's probably a bit bemused about it all, really. I don't think he properly realises what I've won the award for but if he did he'd definitely give me some stick," he said.

After the whirlwind week of photo shoots, celebrities and champagne, Paul said he has no regrets about entering the competition.

He said: "I was at the Lab Series counter in House of Fraser buying some products when the girl on the counter suggested I enter the competition. It looked like a bit of a laugh so I thought, `Why not?'

"I had to answer questions like about my grooming regime and describe a life-changing experience. Mine was swimming with sharks last year."

Paul won the title of Newcastle's best-groomed man after a panel of judges voted, based on the categories of looks, grooming and overall impression.

He was styled and photographed by GQ in a West End studio where he was dressed head to toe in the outfit he chose as part of his prize.

What is a metrosexual?

A metrosexual is a man who rejects the traditional macho attributes and cares about personal grooming.

According to online retailer, Newcastle has more metrosexuals than any other city in the country.

Yes, Geordie men take pride in how they look and enjoy to a bit of preening.

Metrosexual men are typically heterosexual men about town who take an avid interest in fashion labels and which beauty products bring out the best in them.

The Godfather of metrosexuals is David Beckham, who championed the cause with his sarong, jewellery and fake tan. And let's not forget the metrosexual's love of waxing. Becks and chums are often pictured shirtless with smooth chests.

Where will it all end, though? Will it be a touch light-reflecting concealer under the eyes next?


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer