An online competition to find a model for retailer Next has been hijacked by internet jokers – who have voted this roly-poly red head into the top spot.
Chubby Roland Bunce, 24, is among hundreds of wannabes who entered the ‘Next Model’ contest in a bid to win the £2,000 top prize.
But his unlikely appearance caught the eye of web pranksters and ‘went viral’ – prompting thousands of people to vote for him.
His popularity surged after his profile page was retweeted 1,500 times and ‘liked’ on Facebook more by more than 10,000 fans.
Roland, of Belfast, was also the most talked-about person on global social website Reddit with tens of thousands of readers vowing to vote for the dumpy computer science graduate.
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.”
Next said it was ”delighted” that tubby Roland had entered its modelling competition – and revealed more than 5,000 entries have been received since the contest was launched on Monday.
A spokesperson said: ”Next is delighted for absolutely anyone to enter this competition as long as they’re aged 18 or over.
”The level of interest has been phenomenal and there’s an astonishing amount of comment and coverage on all the social networking sites.”
The competition closes on June 28, with the winning man and woman rewarded with £2,000 Next vouchers, a photoshoot and an introduction to a modelling agency.