An Aberdeen grandad will become the oldest person to ever take to the Friends of ANCHOR catwalk this May.
Alastair Henderson will join the 24-strong line up for all-male fashion show Brave.
The 90-year-old claimed he was “bullied” into applying by his daughter and granddaughter, but as the models met for the first time this week he admitted he was looking forward to an all-new experience.
And in another first for Brave – and its sister event Courage on the Catwalk – a husband and wife duo have been selected. Hugh Sutherland, 67, from Meikle Wartle, near Inverurie, will take part in Brave before cheering on his wife Ann, 64, at Courage.
All the models have at some point faced a cancer or haematology diagnosis, with some now cancer-free and others still going through treatment.
Those selected for this year’s Brave line-up are aged between 25 and 90, and come from across the north-east including Glenlivet, Alford, Kingswells, New Deer, Fraserburgh and even Orkney.
They have now met for the first time, swapping stories and joking about their dance skills as they heard what’s in store in the coming months.
Mr Henderson, from Bucksburn, is looking forward to sharing the news with his family, including granddaughter Kirsty who has just climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.
A former civil servant and special constable, Mr Henderson was first treated for a malignant melanoma in 1998. A massage therapist urged him to get checked out after noticing an unusual “spot” on his back – advice he continues to share with others.
In 2010, he was then diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent seven weeks of radiotherapy.
“When I was first treated in 1998, Friends of ANCHOR was really just starting out,” he said. “It’s wonderful to see how it’s grown.
“I don’t tend to put myself forward for things, but my daughter Arlene and a friend – Janet McKenzie, who has now been selected for Courage on the Catwalk – bullied me into it.
“It’s a new experience and we’ll see how it goes. It’s a good way to meet new people.”
Mr Henderson, dad to Arlene and Derek, has four grandchildren – Kirsty, Callum, Mark and Kim. He is looking forward to sharing the experience with them all.
Sarah-Jane Hogg, chief executive at Friends of ANCHOR, said: “It was wonderful to meet our Brave 2024 models and hear them already start to share their stories.
“We can’t wait to see that brotherhood develop in the coming weeks when rehearsals start up and the gents get together for our ice-breaker dinner later this month. We know from past groups just how tight a bond is formed among the models, with many still meeting up on a regular basis.
“The Brave shows always have an electric, fun atmosphere as the gents really throw themselves into it, cheered on by their loved ones as they step out onto the catwalk.”
The models will make their catwalk debut at P&J Live on May 16 and 17, with 750 guests cheering them on at each show.
They will be professionally styled and trained by production and model agency Premiere Productions UK.
Brave and Courage on the Catwalk have become Friends of ANCHOR’s most significant fundraisers. More than £1.7million has been raised since 2013.
For tickets to Brave, visit https://friendsofanchor.org/index.php/events/brave