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Chubby victory for cuddly contestant

PUBLISHED: 17:00 02 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:19 03 March 2010

SOME men would not be happy if their other halves entered them into a Mr Fat competition.

But one "cuddly" Suffolk entrant shortlisted for the premier podgy prize declared: "I'm overweight - and overwhelmed.

SOME men would not be happy if their other halves entered them into a Mr Fat competition.

But one "cuddly" Suffolk entrant shortlisted for the premier podgy prize declared: "I'm overweight – and overwhelmed."

James Holbrook, of Roundwood Road, Ipswich, is in the final 10 of a competition to find the nation's best-looking "porker" after his partner, Tracey Thaine, put him forward for a competition run by a magazine.

"I think it's marvellous," said the 38-year-old.

"My partner is always doing things in magazines but I got the call earlier this week saying I was in the top 10. I couldn't believe it but I was ecstatic – and now I'm quite overwhelmed by it all. I think I've got a good chance of winning."

His vital statistics reveal he only weighs 13 stone, but is just 5ft 2ins tall.

"I've always been the same weight really, I'm not obese but I'm well over the weight I should be for my height. I've got a big belly – and I think that is what the judges were looking for," said Mr Holbrook.

The Mr Fat 2001 finalist works as a car park attendant at Ipswich Hospital and is a father to four young children, Cherelle, 12, Ashley, nine, Lauren, eight, and Bianca, seven.

He believes the competition, the details of which are published in the latest edition of Chat, sends out a positive signal to the image-obsessed world.

"It sends out a good message that fat is beautiful as well and I've got a partner and four children to prove it," he said.

"You only live once and you've got to be happy with what you've got and get through life the best you can. I've got no plans to change."

Tracey, James's partner for the past 10 years, added: "He's a lovely dad to our four kids. I love his cuddly belly and his wicked sense of humour."

The idea of Chat's Mr Fat 2001 came after readers said they were fed up with always seeing "skinny wimps" as models.

Paul Merrill, editor, said: "You don't have to look like David Beckham or George Clooney to be good looking and sexy."

The winner, whittled down from hundreds of entrants, will be announced early next year. The successful super-sized contender will receive £1,000 plus a massive makeover.

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