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“It’s not every year you get crowned Most Wanted Colour Expert” – Mark Leeson on living the dream…

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Mark, describe the feeling when your name was read out as Colour Expert 2014…

I was completely shocked! I honestly did not think I would win – the competition was pretty incredible and I was just delighted to be a finalist and at the Tate Modern, so when my name was announced it was quite remarkable. The stage was a long way from where I was sitting and my heart was pumping so fast the whole way up there. To say I was delighted is an understatement…

And to spend the evening at Tate Modern – how was that for you?

To be in such a grand venue, with the finest hairdressers in the country was incredible. The atmosphere was wonderful and I loved every minute – even more so when I left with a trophy!

What is different about the Most Wanted awards, compared to other competitions?

It’s got a very different vibe. I love Most Wanted because it recognises a combination of business and creative skills, and it’s always very exciting having a new venue and host each time – you never really know what to expect, but you know it will be fabulous.

What was it about your entry that caught the judges’ eye?

I spend a lot of time on my entry, making sure it is eye-catching but yet doesn’t waffle. So hopefully it was just concise and sleek.

Any tips for putting together an entry?

Yes, always stick to the brief and answer the questions directly. Judges have so many entries to look at, and yours needs to have the key points really clearly defined in front of them. The saying ‘less is more’ really applies here.

What difference has it made to you, winning a Most Wanted trophy?

On a personal level, this is the one I really wanted. I am very passionate about colour and I work closely with Goldwell to develop trends and techniques, so to be recognised for what I consider to be my passion is very rewarding. On a business level it’s been a great tool for opening our new salon in Chesterfield, which has already become renowned for its colour correction work. It just validates that we are good at colour, we do know our stuff and we’ve won an amazing reward that officially validates that.

What have you been up to since you won your trophy? Tell us your news…

It’s been non-stop – shoots, education all over the world and events in the UK. I’ve also opened a second salon in Chesterfield, which has been very well received, but took a lot of commitment to get the doors open.

My PR has been dealing with the global press and we’ve had some major pieces of coverage. I haven’t really stopped and private holiday time has kind of taken a back seat these last 12 months. But honestly, I am happy to be healthy and living the dream – it’s not every year you get crowned Most Wanted Colour Expert is it?