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Stars wear their specs aloud and proud

Celebrities support Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year Awards in aid of Kidscape charity

SWOTY 2016

Pop stars Nadine Coyle, from Girls Aloud and George Shelley, from boy band Union J, plus antiques guru David Dickinson proved they all had the specs factor at Specsavers 21st Spectacle Wearer of the Year Awards (11 October).

Louis Walsh took a break from his normal X Factor duties to guest judge the awards that celebrate ordinary spectacles wearers from across the UK and Ireland, who look extraordinary in their glasses.

David Dickinson, presenter of ITV’s The Real Deal, was honoured for decades of proud spectacles-wearing, collecting the Services to Specs accolade. “I'm delighted to receive this prestigious award, and hopefully this will let me see things in a whole different light,” he said.

Singer Nadine Coyle was awarded the Best Specs Newcomer award, having picked up her first pair of spectacles this summer.

The former Girls Aloud star said: “I love my new glasses and it was great visiting my local Specsavers store to pick out my first pair. They had a wide variety of styles and ranges and the staff were really helpful, it was a really fun experience.”

Girls Aloud pop star Nadine Coyle at Specsavers' Spectacle Wearer of the Year Awards 2016

She added: “Being a new specs wearer, I feel honoured to be part of something that celebrates people who wear glasses, while also raising money for Kidscape, a wonderful charity and cause that is really important to me.”

Taking home the Specs Style Star Award was George Shelley, who has been making waves as a musician, presenter and actor. “Specs have always been a big part of my style,” he said. “I like to make a fashion statement with them and feel they give me real individuality."

He added: “The awards are amazing, it’s great to celebrate specs style in such a big way.”

The celebrity awards were handed out on the night by former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt, who has worn spectacles since she was a teenager and launched the search for Britain’s best spectacles wearers earlier this year.

Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt at Specsavers' Spectacle Wearer of the Year Awards 2016

Presented by Xtra Factor’s Rylan Clark and held at London’s 8 Northumberland Avenue venue, the awards ceremony saw other spectacles-wearing celebrities on the Specsavers green carpet.

They included Denise Van Outen, Twiggy, Joey Essex, Fearne McCann, Sinitta, Ollie Proudlock, JB Gill, Francis Boulle, Ollie Locke, Chloe Madley and boyfriend James Haskel, Amy Willerton and Pete Wicks.

The awards competition saw Derek Durbery, from County Down, presented with the overall Spectacle Wearer of the Year prize of £10,000 and a holiday to New York.

The competition raised £88,000 from award entries, sponsorship, ticket sales and a luxury raffle at the ceremony. The money was donated to Kidscape, bringing the total raised by Specsavers for the charity in the last seven years to £418,000.