A HYNDBURN sailor has finished runner-up in a male beauty contest.
Sam Connell, 22, of Great Harwood, so impressed the judges of Mr Gay UK that he was awarded second place out of 24 finalists.
He will now be able to spend some of his cash prize on an Italian holiday that he also won.
Sam, a fitness trainer for the Navy, even missed his brother's wedding to attend the final at Blackpool's Flamingo Club.
However, the competition has been marred by controversy for Sam, who is being investigated by the Royal Navy for allegedly having sex with a male trainee.
He was ordered off HMS Raleigh in Plymouth by top brass following the alleged consensual sex with a 20-year-old recruit in the ship's gym.
The Navy has strict rules banning "fraternisation" between trainers, senior ratings and recruits.
But at the weekend the former Norden High School pupil, who has been in the Navy for six years, put his worries behind him to strut his stuff in front of judges including Big Brother's Lea, Su Pollard, Rowetta and Anita Dobson.
Sam was beaten to first place by Mark Carter, a police officer from Yorkshire.