A first-time bodybuilder has amazed judges, audiences, and other competitors by being invited to Italy after winning first place in the British finals with only over a month of training.

Fitness instructor, Simon Newton,49, of Hexham has been named as 'Mr. Britain's of the over 45 athletic category after competing in the IBFA UK FINALS 2O22, which took place at the Fed Brewer, Gateshead on Sunday, June 12.

With the idea being suggested to him only six weeks and intense training so he could compete in the competitions, Simon now has been invited to the world championships in Rome on November 6.

"It feels amazing to be over 45's athletic British champion," Simon said.

"It is a dream come true and I am thrilled to know that I had top marks from all the judges, which was not expected."

Simon's first competition was in Cumbria, where he competed in Mr. and Ms. Cumbria where he came first place in his category of over 45 athletics. Since then his success continued as he competed in a different category the 'Master's over 45 rather' in Mr. Northumberland where he came third and was invited to the British Finals in Gateshead.

Simon saw his routine of a 'good diet and lots cardio and weight' becoming a good luck charm and continued with it which helped him achieve Mr. Britain.

He adds: "I feel very privileged to make it to the world championships in November.

"It is a dream come true and I cannot wait."