Retail giant Next was facing embarrassment yesterday after this chubby ginger bloke romped to victory in an online modelling poll – after it was hijacked by internet jokers.
The High Street chain launched the ‘Next Model’ competition to find a future catwalk star and invited members of the public to vote for their favourite contestant.
But online pranksters noticed the unlikely bid of Roland Bunce, 24, a chubby computer engineer from Belfast.
An internet campaign to support his bid went ‘viral’ and Roland beat 5,000 other contestants to the top spot.
He notched up a staggering 66,000 Facebook ‘Likes’ – compared to just 89 for the stunning blonde in second place.
On his Facebook fan page, Roland wrote: ”Thanks for all for the support and thanks to the person who started the group, I’m overwhelmed.”
The roly-poly ginger is now through to the final round of the competition, where an expert judging panel will select a winner from the top 250 entrants.
The winner of the competition will be awarded £2,000 Next vouchers, a photoshoot and an introduction to a modelling agency.