Emmanuel Ray, who also raises funds for various charities and supports human rights campaigns, has been short listed in what is known as the toughest category at the London Lifestyle Awards, facing competition from the likes of Boris Johnson, Sebastian Coe, Danny Boyle and Gary Barlow.
The presenter, who grew up in extreme poverty in civil-war torn Sri Lanka, saw his life change after being spotted by a photographer while selling seafood snacks on the beach, aged 15. This paved the way to a modelling career and he worked in Asia, the Middle East and in Europe, and later to a mental breakdown, drug and alcohol addiction. This year, he struggled with severe depression and stopped working in May 2012 in order to take a break, only to become broke and face homelessness.
“I came very close to giving up on my career this year due to the numerous problems I was facing. I was so sick, ended up with an eye infection and experienced rapid hair loss, weight loss and deteriorating mental health. My close friends, the doctors and neighbours constantly kept watch on me as I felt suicidal” said Emmanuel Ray. “This nomination changed everything. It has given me hope and the boost that my career needed so badly. I have now made a full recovery and am back where I belong, and I thank all my audience, fans, friends and family for pulling me out of the dark place I was stuck in,” he added.
Last year, Emmanuel won Fashion Icon of the Year 2011 at the inaugural Fashions Finest Awards by garnering maximum votes from the public. "I am honoured to have been awarded that title by the public” he says. “In Britain, I have the support and appreciation I never had in Asia or in the Middle East. I owe my entire career to my audience and the public. My work in fashion aside, I strongly believe I won this award because of my work with charities and human rights campaigns,” he added.
The London Lifestyle Awards were founded in 2010 to honour the lifestyle businesses in the capital whose work has made a real difference and a true contribution to London and the people living in the city. This year, 4,127 businesses and personalities were in the running to be short listed for a London Lifestyle Award. This year’s ceremony will be held on Wednesday 17 October at the renowned Hurlingham Club in Fulham, West London and is expected to be the biggest and most hotly contested yet.
To Vote for Emmanuel Ray please scroll down to the 6th category on the Voting page on www.londonlifestyleawards.com or visit www.emmanuelray.com Voting closes on 21 September.