Phil Hunt was last night crowned Britain Best Amateur Hair Stylist 2015 in the BBC television seires Hair. Catherine Scott speaks to him
Yorkshireman Phil Hunt only took up hairdressing last year – after seeing the first series of the BBC show Hair.
“I had been working in fashion retail pretty much since leaving school but when I saw the first series of Hair it made me realise that I wasn’t really following my dream, but these people were,” explains Phil, 33, originally from Goole.
“I walked past a college near where I live now in London and asked to speak to the tutor and decided to give up my job working for Prada and become a mature hairdressing student.”
And when he saw an advert at college for the second series of Hair, which sees ten amateur hairdressers battle it out over a series of challenges, Phil jumped at the chance.
“I filled out the application form and sent in loads of photos of hair designs I had done on a doll’s head and sent it in. Three days later I received a call, had a telephone interview and was then asked to attend the audition at television centre.
“I couldn’t believe that I was actually auditioning for the show which had inspired me to change my career. It was an amazing experience just to take part in the day.”
Phil didn’t hear anything for three weeks and had put it to the back of his mind. Then he received a call saying he had been chosen from thousands of applicants to be one of the ten contestants to make it through to the show.
Filming took place throughout February and March, mainly at weekends as most of the contestants, including Phil, were on college courses and also working in salons.
“It was a juggle,” he admits. “But I loved every minute of it. All the production staff were lovely and really accommodating.”
Phil was one of only two men to make it through to the final show and he quite soon became the last man standing.
“I never really got flustered. I just wanted to make the most of the opportunity and possibly being a mature student having worked in fashion retail for a long time helped that.” Although he admits that after the second week he was worried after he misread the brief at ended up near the bottom.
However he needn’t have worried. He survived and last night more than a million people saw him crowned Britain’s Best Amateur Hairdresser, although no one was more surprised than him.
“I am quite an experimental avant guard hairdresser whereas the two other girls in the final were very good at wedding hair and that’s what the final challenge was all about . I thought there was no way I would win it. It seemed to take forever for them to announce the winner’s name and then it was mine.”
Phil has had to keep his win secret since March, even his mum, nan and sister back in Goole didn’t know until they watched it last night.
“I didn’t feel like I was a winner until last night,” he says.
There was no prize for winning the title, but Phil who wants to work in theatre or film hair styling, hopes it will open some doors for him.
“Hopefully winning this competition will assist me to further my career and realise my ambition to become a professional hair designer in television, film and theatre and if by chance Paloma Faith is seeking a new hair stylist, I’d definitely be interested.”