Entrepreneurial Mr Shropshire ready to pursue 'dream' career after ditching corporate life

A Shropshire entrepreneur is ready to give up the corporate life to pursue a long held dream to be an actor.

Stephen Staley
Stephen Staley

Mr British Isles contestant Stephen Staley, 42, was the former managing director of the country's biggest independent games retailer, Gameseek, before it went into liquidation in 2018.

Now Stephen, from Sandford, near Market Drayton, who owns other businesses, including a toy retailer and a car dealership, is planning to move to Beverley Hills to live among the stars of Hollywood.

But first he's aiming to bring home the crown as Mr British Isles from a four-day final being held at Chester racecourse from Friday.

"I would like to win, it would be awesome, and I will give it my best shot for Shropshire," said Stephen, who already holds the coveted title of Mr Shropshire in the national fashion modelling competition.

"I never looked at myself as being a model," said Stephen. "You need a lot of confidence but it is a really good feeling, and something I will definitely embrace."

Father-of-one Stephen admits that he's probably going to be facing competition from younger guys, but he isn't fazed by that.

"I get a lot of attention from women," he said. "Probably only because in the last 12 months I've been going to the gym everyday, and I am happy to talk to everyone."

"Most people say that I look a lot younger than 42," he said. "When I went out with a friend, people said they thought he was my dad!"

As for his acting career, he has already been in seven films, with an eighth on the way.

Stephen Staley

He can next be seen in a couple of films due out in 2022 including Jurassic Valley, as baddie Dean, and in Crocodile Vengeance.

Stephen explains that although he graduated from university with qualifications in both film and multimedia design he did not follow his true passion to be an actor. Business took priority in his life until 2019.

He then went for acting lessons at First Take School of Acting in Manchester, although he admits he was incredibly nervous.

"I just sat in my car and did not want to get out," said Stephen. "But I know it is what I want to do and I got out and went to the class. It is out of my comfort zone but that is where I want to put myself and to experience as many things in my life as I can and push myself into it."

He urges everyone to follow their dreams and says he wants to hand that determination over to his son, seven year old Rupert.

"Whatever he wants to be, I will back him all the way," said Stephen. "If Rupert says he wants to play for Manchester United I would be on the phone persuading them to have a look at him."

If Stephen wins the title, there are over £10,000 worth of prizes for the winner including a modelling and influencer contract, photoshoots and sightseeing trip to Gibraltar.

At the National Final Stephen will be up against 49 other finalists from across The British Isles including Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and all across England.

Previous winners of Miss/Mr British Isles organised events have gone on to be signed by top modelling agencies, taken part in major TV shows and even appeared in a Bollywood film.

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