Miss World is ousted by Mr Gay Universe

NO ONE would seriously consider trying to televise Miss World in the Nineties. The furore would be deafening. But it is a sign of our times that very few people will bat an eyelid when a gay beauty pageant is televised for the first time in May.

Mr Gay UK, which has been running unseen for five years, is to be televised as a straightforward beauty pageant by Channel 5 in May. The 25 contestants, who include Mr Brighton, will appear in fantasy wear, casual dress and swimwear. If they have a talent they will be encouraged to flaunt it.

The winner gets pounds 5,000 and the opportunity to travel, mainly to Gay Pride events, but travel nevertheless. The holder of the title, Sean McVeigh, is starring in an advertisement for homes in Manchester's gay village.

There will be some differences between this contest and a women's pageant, however, in that rarely did the contestants at Miss World try to flirt with each other: "I think backstage at a women's contest it can get quite competitive and bitchy," says Terry George, creator of the contest.

"But backstage at our do they're actually more into rubbing body oil on each other. It gets quite intimate backstage and we've had a few successful relationships emerge from contestants."