The prospect of a front-page modelling gig, a starring role in an award nominated film and a chance to rub shoulders with the stars might seem a fair distance away right now.
But such dreams might not necessarily be so far out of reach, as the hunt is on once again, to find Specsavers’ Spectacle Wearer of the Year.
Last year, Ankush Khanna, an aspiring singer-songwriter from Brixton, beat off stiff competition from glasses wearers across the country to be crowned the winner of the 24-35 age category.
In the end, Ankush was marginally edged out of the £10,000 prize collected by overall competition winner, Alex Miller, but the experience has helped propel his career into stardom.
He says: ‘Obviously I’d love to be sat here with an additional £10,000 in my bank account, but the experience I’ve had through the Spectacle Wearer of the Year competition really has been life changing.
‘I was able to fulfil a lifelong dream of modelling in a professional magazine, progressed with my acting career and have had some truly mind-blowing experiences that I would never have been able to do had I not entered SWOTY.’
Glasses wearers from across the nation, aged 16 and over, can put themselves forward for the prestigious accolade. Finalists are invited to an uber-glam awards ceremony in London, with one overall winner scooping the top award and cash prize.
Ankush, who starred in the 2018 award-nominated film, Boogie Man, alongside Nick Moran and Amy Jackson, is now encouraging other people from South London to sign up for the competition.
‘Last year, I entered on a bit of a whim – I just thought why not? But I couldn’t have imagined what a great impact it would have on my life and I’d urge all glasses wearers to give it a shot. There’s really nothing to lose and everything to gain.’
New celebrity ambassador
The 2018 campaign was launched by Steps sensation, Claire Richards, who was awarded the Specs Appeal award at the 2017 event.
Claire says: ‘I’ve been a glasses wearer for a few years now and I absolutely love it. I love to mix things up and try a geek-chic frame one day and then a sexy cat’s eye the next.
‘Winning the Specs Appeal award last year was incredibly flattering and it was an honour to share a room with so many proud and fabulous glasses wearers. I can’t wait to see all the nominees this year – I’m sure there’s going to be some real corkers!’
The competition has raised more than half a million pounds for anti-bullying charity Kidscape over the past nine years.
Claire adds: ‘Bullying is an issue that has always been close to my heart so I’m proud to be representing a competition that supports a charity like Kidscape. The work they do to support individuals and families affected by bullying is invaluable.’
How to enter
The competition has five age categories – 16-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-59 and over 60s – plus a Facebook favourite voted for by the public. A winner from each category will win a VIP makeover and mingle with celebrities at the awards in London in October.
One pound will be donated to Kidscape for each entry made. The money raised will help to support the charity in providing practical support to children and families affected by bullying, including advice resources, phone support and workshops.
To be in with a chance of scooping the biggest accolade in the specs-wearing world, glasses wearers can enter the competition online at www.specsavers.co.uk/loveglassecomp. Deadline for entries is 1 July 2018.