Super-slimmer transforms from 20-stone recluse to svelte male model after being dumped by girlfriend
14:03 GMT, 12 March 2012
A super-slimmer has transformed from a 20st recluse into a suave supermodel after shedding 7st and winning a modelling competition.
Four years ago, Jonny Laidler weighed 20 stone, was dumped by his girlfriend and barely left the house.
But now, Jonny, 24, a sales director from Leeds, West Yorks., has a new lease of life after being snapped up by modelling agency Catwalk Model Management.
Jonny Laidler was snapped up by a modelling agency after shedding 7stone
Jonny, who strutted his stuff in front of 130 people in the Next Top Model Leeds competition to claim the top spot, said: 'I never thought I would be doing this. It’s amazing that I won and it’s a great accolade to have.
'I will always be this big, jolly, fat person inside. I just look better on the outside now.
'I don’t think of myself as a good looking person but I have got lots more attention since I lost the weight.
'I used to play computer games a lot rather than doing anything else and spiralled into this really bad habit of not going out.'
Single Jonny added: 'My girlfriend and I broke up because she was cheating on me and the guy was really skinny.
Jonny started running seven miles a day and the weight fell off almost immediately
'When you are 20 stone, all you want to do is get rid of it. I started running seven miles a day and lost loads of weight really quickly.
'I also started playing rugby and team sports and I’m currently one of the fittest in the Oulton Raiders team, but I do get stick from the rugby guys for modelling.'
The Next Top Model Leeds event, judged by rugby league star Ellery Hanley and ex-Leeds United footballer Dominic Matteo, was held at The Warehouse nightclub and raised 30,000 for Leeds Jewish Welfare Board.
It was organised by Gaynor Sorkin, co-owner of Offices to Let, Amanda Port, co-director of Micronet Europe, Danielle Buck, co-owner of Daniel Footwear, and Belinda Richmond, co-owner of Arrow Cars.
Gaynor said: 'I would never have believed in the present climate that we would have raised as much money as we did and for that we have to thank our sponsors, volunteers and the community.'
Anisha Hamilton-Sutton, 22, also of Leeds, was crowned winner of the female category.
As well as the modelling contract, winners received 500 pounds, a place at the London School of Modelling and an appearance on fashion website Style-Me TV.