A student from Hammersmith is proving a hit on a BBC2 TV hairdressing competition.
Phil Hunt, 33, is appearing on Hair on Monday and Tuesday evenings after quitting a successful career as a retail brand manager to follow his dreams to become a hairdresser.
Phil studies hairdressing at Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College’s Hammersmith campus, after returning to education last year to pursue a new career.
The programme has seen thousands of amateur hairdressers whittled down to just 10 hopefuls who will compete in tasks to show their versatility, technical skill and creativity to judges Denise McAdam and Alain Pichon.
So far Phil has fared well and is the last male contestant in the show as it enters its half-way point.
He is now spearheading a #makeithappen campaign at the college, where enrolling on a hairdressing course has led to a host of new opportunities and a starring role in the BBC TV series.
He said: “I hit 32 and realised that I didn’t want to spend my life doing something that didn’t inspire me. I’ve always been passionate about hair design - I see it as an art form, and love the way structure and form can create a unique look that changes a person’s appearance within minutes.
“I was passing the college one day and decided to go in and have a look. I was very conscious of being a mature student, but meeting my lecturer made me feel at ease about going into something that was outside of my comfort zone.
“She had over 30 years’ experience and was passionate and inspiring – I signed up straight away.”
So passionate is Phil that he is heading the college’s #makeithappen recruitment campaign, which encourages people across London to be inspired to pursue their dream career, either by aiming for promotion in their current job or completely retraining.
He says: “The advice I would give for anyone frustrated, bored or unfulfilled by their current job, would be to come into the college at Ealing, Hammersmith, Acton or Southall and get a feel for the environment here.
“I gave up a career that was set for me and went back to basics and I’ve not stopped since. Ever since September, I’ve been on a constant high. If you have a passion for something you have to live and breathe it, everything else comes naturally with it.”
Clare Caccavone, head of student engagement and experience at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College, said: “Phil sets a great example to people who are considering changing career or going that step further in their current role.
“As part of the #makeithappen campaign, our students of all ages are sharing their inspirational story in the hope of inspiring others to tap in to their true ambitions and make them a reality.”
Full course information can be found by visiting www.wlc.ac.uk.