Joni Valadares joined TTM 3 years ago and we were thrilled to have him as part of our Beautiful North campaign. We caught up with him on his adventure of a lifetime…

I’m currently on a huge adventure in Asia teaching under privileged locals the beautiful language of Geordie. When asked what I liked to do in the past, I would normally say socialising, going on holiday breaks and binge watching TV shows. But now, being here in Asia, I absolutely love teaching and exploring and meeting so many different people from different cultures. My eyes are now well and truly open to the World.

Back in the UK I have been modelling for almost 8 years, beginning with winning the title of Alternative model of the year in 2012.  Then winning the title of Mr Gay England in 2016/17 and placing 1st runner up at Mr Gay Europe. Achieving such titles gave me the platform that I always wanted so that I could raise awareness on suicide prevention within the LGBT+ community.

With TTM Management I have worked with Jerry J Clothing, Arriva and Bean Bag Bazaar to name a few as well as being part of their influencer board.

I was truly honoured to be asked to be part of The Beautiful North campaign and to represent my community. I have met so many different people from all walks of life, it’s a fantastic idea!

I am super proud to be from the North because, what else can I say other than we are the friendliest people in our country. The North is where my heart will truly always be, no matter where I am in the World. Gateshead is my Home!

Fun fact: I was the first ever gay man on blind date.