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Former soldier set for model role as the face of hair salon
6:30am Friday 8th June 2012 in News
A former squaddie has swapped the front line for the catwalk after winning a modelling competition.
When Michael Sutcliffe was facing constant threat in Afghanistan, looking good was the last thing on his mind.
But now it’s a must for the former soldier after he became the ‘face’ of a local hair salon.
Michael, 22, and fellow winner Hannah Burnell, 17, will represent Yazz Number One Hair Studio for the next year after beating off competition in a catwalk final.
It’s a complete step into the unknown for Michael, who served for five years in the army and entered the competition on the spur of the moment.
The ex-squaddie, who lives in Otley, had never even considered modelling before entering the contest.
After joining the army in 2007, he served with the Coldstream Guards outside Buckingham Palace before serving for seven months in Afghanistan and two months in the Falklands.
During his time in Helmand Province he was assigned to training the Afghan police and patrolling with them. While he was there a group of British soldiers were shot dead when an Afghan policeman turned his weapons on them at a checkpoint.
Speaking of his time on the front line, he said: “Obviously it was hard, but it is just experience really. It opens your eyes a bit more.”
Michael, who is now doing ground work in the building trade, left the army last year partly to be closer to his family.
He said: “I hate being out now. I am gutted and I miss my mates to bits.”
But he had plenty of support from his army colleagues when he took part in the catwalk final in Yeadon.
“Three of my army mates came up from London to see it,” he said. “They loved it and just couldn’t believe I had done it.”
Michael, who admits he “didn’t have a clue” about modelling, said: “It is the total opposite of anything I have ever done. Obviously in the army I was on the front line, so it couldn’t be more different really.”
Michael and Hannah will represent the salon locally, as well as attending photo shoots, exhibitions and competitions.