Presenting… Courtney Hayles. Our Man Of The Year 2016. The competition was fierce, with thousands of votes between our hotter-than-hot line up, but Courtney proved he has what it takes to be a cover star and all-out hero. You’ll find the book, ‘It Had To Be You’ out today in all good retailers including ASDA, Tesco, WHSmiths and of course, on Amazon!
I think believing I was someone the public would support was my biggest obstacle to overcome. In life we are told to show humility but to go for it by any means necessary, to be brash but not in your face, to promote but not to impose and the list goes on and on. Once I muddled my way through the rulebook of insecurities, I instantly fell into the feeling of being seen as someone the public would support, and they did.
It feels so right that I am Man Of The Year 2016!
When I entered this competition I knew I wanted to win and now I have. My reaction now is the same. Excited, proud, optimistic, determined, energized and in the words of John Boyega “I’m here to celebrate, damn it”.
How have your friends and family reacted to you winning this competition?
‘Lawd God my child did it!’ ‘hahahahahahaha….’ ‘Courtney of course you were going to win…’ Huge congratulations to you…’ ‘This is your time buddy, you deserve it…’, ‘love you son, circle without end…’
My friends just burst out laughing, and that was followed by the most intense discussions about what we do from this point onwards. I kid you not; we sat around the dining table and started to prepare a media takeover. The reactions have been hilarious!
My family celebrate EVERYTHING, so telling them this was a big deal! I have to hand it to my aunty, who was my back-to-back campaign manager, relentless on Facebook and with anyone with a phone.
All the hugs, kisses and squeezing of my cheeks were endless. When I told my sister, brothers, cousins and nephews that I’d won, with my best Luther voice (Idris Elba would’ve been proud) the kitchen the celebration turned into a rave, followed by a motivational speech about ‘keeping it moving’, and not stopping until it’s done.
If you could see yourself on any other book cover, past or present, what would it be?
This is an interesting question as I am immediately drawn to Paulo Coelho. His book covers instantly draw you in and then you fall into his writing… genius.
Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day this year?
Everyday is Valentine’s Day for me (Ha!!!)
I have a lot of projects on at the moment and I am hoping to shoot something visual to mark the day. No plans for Valentine’s Day personally, so maybe I’ll surprise someone who may have thought love forgot about them.
If you had a million pounds to spend on a date, what would you do?
I would cover all of her ceilings with roses that cascaded over her, so when she woke up it would be the first thing she saw. Her door would knock and she’d answer and be greeted with her favourite cup of coffee, plus a note attached to the bottom of the cup. The note would read ‘ You fill me up from the inside.’
She’d giggle to herself and be greeted by another knock at the door.
It would be me, with my hands ready to lift her up off the floor. She would wrap her legs around me and we’d kiss and she’d sink her head into the small of my neck. Time to get dressed, but the bathroom door would be locked. I’d hand her a key, and when she used it on the bathroom door she’d find an enchanted forest of sweet smelling candles and flowers inside. Amongst the flowers would be another note: ‘We can go anywhere you want, we can do anything you like as long as we do it together.’
Outside, our chauffeur would be waiting. He’d drive us to the shops, where we’d be greeted by our own personal shopper, who’d already have an array of outfits ready for my date to choose from. We’d waste no time picking out what we like. Then we’d eat, sip champagne and after a full body massage and pampering we’d be ready to go on our date.
Time to have some fun. We’d fly by private jet to the Maldives and arrive in the evening. I’d blindfold her just before we reached our destination. She’d remove the blindfold when we were stood on a beach on Vaadhoo Island on the Sea of stars.
We’d then take a detour to Turkey and visit the Natural Rock pools in Pammukale before heading back to the UK.
The end. (Should I write a Mills & Boon?)
If you had five quid to spend on a date, what would you do?
I would make my date a tape cassette of songs, and tell her that whenever she finds a tape player, that moment would be our date starting all over again. I guess the best kind of date is when you know you both can have fun without all the money in the world. So I’d opt for a rooftop someplace, with blankets, home cooked food, iPhone (fully charged on airplane mode) and a bottle of wine with two wine glasses shoved into her bag.
If you could choose a location for your next cover shoot, what would it be and why?
I would choose somewhere like Salar de Uyuni in Boliva. It has to be one of the most breathtaking places in the world. It suits my need for freedom, coupled with complete euphoria.
Describe your ideal love match, if you have one?
It would be someone who understands why love is all you need. My ideal love match is quirky cool. She’s funny with a great zest for life. She’s someone who remembers what it feels like to just be happy enough to feel the sun on her face.
She has to love food, but also know that nothing beats cooking at home. My ideal partner loves her craft and shines brighter all for being true to herself. She respects time alone but encourages and nurtures our partnership. My ideal match challenges me and causes me to want to be all the things I thought I couldn’t be, but want to be because she’s here beside me. My ideal partner is my best friend, my closest confidant and sexual soul mate.