Stuart Hatton Jr, National producer of Mr Gay Europe in England, Scotland and Wales, previous Mr Gay World titleholder and LGBTI+ activist is the Executive Producer of the European finale of Mr Gay Europe 2020.
This is the 14th time Mr Gay Europe finale is organized since the first one in Oslo, Norway, in 2005. It will take place in Newcastle, England, 13 – 19 July alongside the Northern Pride.
Even if all the countries on the great island west of the Europe mainland have taken part many times in the competition over the years, this is the first time the finale is going to be held in United Kingdom.
Who better to produce and oversee an event like this than a previous delegate, international winner and LGBTI+ activist? Stuart Hatton is certainly the man for the job.
First of all, are you doing this all by yourself?
No, I am not organising Mr Gay Europe by myself. 2020 is a real team effort with Peter Darrant from Pride World Media and TV and Production Team there as well as my colleagues from Northern Pride. Mr Gay Europe is such a tour-de-force that I believe it takes more than one person to make a successful competition.
What does it take to be a Mr Gay Europe?
A Mr Gay Europe winner must have courage of conviction, be a strong personality who can see the world from many different points of view. A Mr Gay Europe winner should be able to capture the attention of any audience, from a small child to an elderly person; they must be relatable, sociable and a strong leader.
What can a winner do this a title? Some might say it is just a good pick-up line for when you are on the dating-apps…
Mr Gay Europe should not be a pick line for a dating app. And if that is what a delegate wants from the title, then this is not the competition for him.
So, what do you tell those claiming that Mr Gay Europe is just a beauty competition?
The proof is in the rules, Mr Gay Europe is judged on what is inside, the knowledge the delegates have about the LGBTIQ+ community and how they treat other professionals and their fellow delegates. Yes, it is good to feel comfortable within your own skin but looking good is not at the core of a Mr Gay Europe winner.
What does the titleholder win?
Among other things, this year the titleholder will win a Management Deal with Powah Management, and a radio show to get their voice heard globally on Pride World Radio.
Mr Gay Europe has been going on since 2005 when it first was produced in Oslo, Norway. Each year there has been made changes to the program. For example, the swim wear section has been taken out, the written exam has been added. Are you going to make any changes for this year’s competition?
Yes. We are bringing back the National Costume round of Mr Gay Europe which will count for 5 percent of the overall marks. We want all the delegates to visually represent their country so that when the audience at the finale on July 18th sees a delegate, they will know exactly which country they come from.
Can you reveal any news for this competition?
I can reveal that there will be something involving Harry Potter in 2020 but the rest is top secret.
Apart from the competition itself, what kind of challenges does the delegates face?
As a former delegate, I know that the trial of Mr Gay Europe can be challenging and I am not shying away from that format, in fact I plan on making the challenges the toughest yet that Mr Gay Europe has ever seen.
What would you say is the best thing about the MGE competition?
The friendship. I have met some lifelong friends through Mr Gay Europe, and I can call them up anytime to stay at their houses in their different countries or just WhatsApp them my favourite Madonna songs.
What would be your best advice for anyone signing up for the competition?
Don’t hesitate. Do it now. It will change your life. It did for me.