Vote for the nation's most Colourful Character!

11 July 2016

Help us choose a national winner! 

Arlene Phillips has helped us shortlist 9 of the country's most Colourful Characters and we need your help to decide a national winner! These 'Colourful Characters' are people aged over 60 who are living life to the full, redefining retirement and doing anything but acting their age! The winner will receive a holiday of a lifetime for 2 courtesy of Saga holidays, so who do YOU think should win?

Help us crown the nation's most Colourful Character!

Meet the candidates

Dana Power

Dana Power

Dana took up running at the age of 55 after watching the Great North Run on TV. Since then, he has run in over 44 half marathons, and recently completed his 11th full marathon in London dressed as Puff the Asthma Dragon, the official mascot for Asthma UK. The costume was almost 8ft tall so it was definitely no mean feat! Dana has raised over £21,000 for the charity to date and he doesn't plan on stopping any time soon. Last year, at the age of 60, Dana took also part in his first charity boxing match for Cancer Research. Winning on points, Dana has now retired from boxing undefeated. 


Beti Williams

Beti Williams

At 81, Beti still teaches maths at the International College of Wales three days a week, and even has her own YouTube channel, ‘Beti Maths’, where she posts a number of videos aimed at GCSE students. She wears colourful, bright clothes and also loves swimming and exercising in the pool. Her dream is to return to Bermuda – she first visited a few years ago, where she swam in the most beautiful tropical sea and loved the way the houses were painted in bright colours.  When she returned home she painted her house purple, resulting in some of her international students giving her the nickname ‘Miss Purple’! Beti has taken part in the Masters Swimming Championships and has been a winner on numerous occasions in the over 70s age group, and also went on a fitness boot camp holiday to Lanzarote.


Sue Ash

Sue Ash

When Sue turned 80 she completed her first ever sky dive and says she would do it again in a heartbeat. After losing her husband a year ago, she decided that she needed to stay active and busy, and was determined to get out every day. Now, she goes to the gym and swims at least three times a week. For Sue, going to the gym is about staying fit and active, but also having fun and making friends. She recently took part in a sponsored swim, completing 100 lengths in one go and raising £795 for charity – not bad for an 80 year old!


Ken McKay

Ken McKay

Ken won Scotland’s Sport Personality of the Year at the age of 84. Sport has been a massive influence his entire life and continues to be a huge part of his retirement. Ken has over 480 national and international gold medals and until a couple of years ago, was a Master’s swimmer competing with swimmers of all ages and abilities, and travelling over the world. At 86 he goes to his local swimming baths three times a week and swims up to 40 lengths each session. He says he entered sports for fun, fitness and friendship and thinks this is what keeps him young. That, and going to the pub for a drink with friends! Ken's motto is: "You can’t change growing old, but you can delay growing up!”


David Lindsey

David Lindsey

David retired two years ago, but rather than slow down, he says he is busier than ever. Athletics has been a huge part of his life ever since his children got involved at a young age. He still has time keeping duties which takes him all over the UK – he was in Glasgow earlier this year for the athletic championships. David helps out at the local athletic clubs and is really involved with the local community. He has recently taken up cycling which he does around three times a week. He definitely likes to keep fit – he says it’s the key to staying young. 


Susan Bathurst

Susan Bathurst

Having watched her husband spend the last five years of his life enduring the effects of increasingly debilitating strokes, Sue decided to ‘go for it’. In the past six years she has ridden across numerous countries including the Thar Desert in Rajasthan; northern Mongolia to visit the Tsaatan (reindeer) people; across the Andes from Argentina to Chile; and across the Romanian Carpathians, on the Georgian border with Chechnya and Dagestan and in Cuba. She was also on the first ever horse trek in Bhutan and will ride in the Tien Shan mountains in Kyrgyzstan for the third time this August. To finance her travels she runs a boutique B&B. She writes, takes many photographs and in 2015 was a winner of the Bradt Travel Guides competition ‘To Oldly Go’. Susan's mother died when she was 47 – she says she owes it to her to make the most of life.


Frank Williams

Frank Williams

Frank recently completed a post-intermediate course in Italian at the University of Manchester, having studied Italian for many years. With his wife Margaret, he likes to walk every week and together have completed treks including the Edale Skyline in Derbyshire which is 24 miles long. For the last 20 years Frank has practiced Buddhism which he says has made him a better person, and taught him to try new things. Frank heads to the gym twice a week and is a passionate painter with a particular interest in life drawings. Frank spends a lot of time with retired people of a similar age and his motto is: "you don’t give up because you’re growing old, you grow old because you’re giving up." He hopes to inspire people to try something new and maintain a creative approach to life, no matter their age. 


Lynda McLean

Lynda McLean

Lynda recently finished chemotherapy for bowel cancer, having already overcome breast cancer 5 years ago. Now in remission, and also a full-time carer to her disabled husband, Lynda strives to live every day like her last.She is a very active person, belonging to a cycling club as well as square dancing a couple of times a week. She loves socialising and never turns down an invitation for fear of missing out. Before the chemotherapy, a 40-mile bike ride was nothing to her and she decided to try a host of new hobbies, including scuba diving on the Great Barrier reef, white water rafting, and a hot air balloon ride. She hopes to go to Vietnam next year to complete a sky-dive. Lynda says life is all about experiences and making the most of every moment because life is too short!


Tom Munt

Tom Munt

Tom has been an Association Football referee since passing his exam in 1953, and still spends most Saturdays as a referee assessor. He regularly goes jogging and for 5 mile walks with his daughter. Tom recently took part in a charity event, cycling 15 miles to raise money for WheelPower.  In 2001, he took part in the London Marathon and has set himself a target of doing it again by the time he is 90! Tom was a Games Maker for both the Olympics and Paralympics when he was 79, and in the past few years has appeared on the Weakest Link and Deal or No Deal. His motto for life is: ‘Get involved’. 



The vote to crown the nation's most Colourful Character has finished!

The voting for the Colourful Characters competition has now closed, and all the votes have been counted and verified.

We are thrilled to announce the winner as Beti Williams, 81 from Swansea.

We would like to thank all of our finalists for entering and to everyone who voted for them.

The total votes are based on the combined number of entries received via the FreePost address and McCarthy and Stone Facebook page. People could vote multiple times for their chosen finalist up until the entry deadline, and all eligible votes have been counted and verified. For a breakdown of the individual results for each finalist, please see below:


Online votes

Postal votes

Beti Williams



Dana Power



Susan Bathurst



Sue Ash



Lynda McLean



Tom Munt



David Lindsey



Ken McKay



Frank Williams



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Other Comments:

Joan Banks “Dana should win! ”

Mark windsor “Dana a big inspiration to our town ”

David “Vote for Beti, an inspiration to all and a truly "colourful character" ”

Zoe “Dana”

Patrick Johnson “Probably the most purple person I know! Lovely woman and brilliant maths teacher x”

Penny Martin “Dana Power is an inspearation to us all what he does for charity is wonderful and he deserves to win so please vote Dana X”

Jenny “Dana is a top man. He deserves to win. ”

Neil Hendy “met Dana running at several events fir AsthmaUK. running is difficult but doing it in a dragon outfit is amazing. Raised thousands for charity and sure he will do so for many years more. ”

Andy “Dana to win”

Pauline Hinton “Dana is a fantastic man nothing is too much trouble. He is a star”

Chloe “We love Puff the Dragon aka Dana Power. Today he has been at the towns Teddy Bears Picnic entertaining children on his day off! This guy is selfless. He deserve a holiday for all he does for charity. VOTE DANA x”

Andy Newman “Dana fantastic bloke ”

Mandy grantham “'' Dana to win''xx”

Norma Urey “Diana”

Sharon “Puff the dragon has to win!! Amazing amount raised for charity and deserves a brilliant holiday prize reward x”

Hilary ward “Dana Power to win, ”

Irene Cameron “Vote Dana to win xx”

Pete “Dana all the way ”

Kay Rix “Dana to win an amazing man who does amazing work for charity xx”

Debbie Richards “My vote is for Dana Power amazing Man who raises so much money for charity would love him and his wife to win this prize x”

Alison york “Puff the asthma dragon all the way , Dana Powers”

Carol Cooper “Dana is a man with a huge heart, will do as much as he can to help anyone. Asthma UK have had their profile raised with all work that he does. We all see him training, running as Puff which is a delight to see - Brings a smile to everyone's day. He works so very hard & always gives 110%. His backbone is his amazing wife Tina, who possibly the loveliest lady I have had the pleasure of knowing. They both deserve the holiday as recognition for what they do. ”

Alison “Dana Powers. His charity work with "puff" are amazing and such a wonderful course . ”

Corinne fellows “Dana Power is the most selfless inspirational person I know!”

Andrew Birt “Beti Williams is a shining star. Her enthusiasm for teaching, embracing of technology, passion for travel and active lifestyle make her an inspiration to us all. She genuinely has a flair for life and her efforts to drive and encourage others deserve to be recognised. Beti, you get my vote!”

Lynne “Susan Bathurst ”

Charlotte “Dana deserves this prize with all the charity work he does its amazing. Really hope he wins ! Well Tina deserves it just for being such a lovely person always smiling ! Worked with her over 20 years ago in somerfield she is just the loveliest person so kind to us students working there. xx good luck guys ”

Rebecca Ballantyne “I vote for Dana. The work and effort he has put in to supporting both the charity and Cameron's parents is absolutely phenomenal. He's a true champion and I would vote a thousand times if I could. Good Luck Dana. You're an absolute superstar. ”

Catherine Markevics “Dana is an inspiration to everyone, his wife Tina is a love lady, always a smile for people through out the day in her work, ”

Lyn james “I vote for Dana power”

Mirtha “Dana to win!! ”

Natalie Carr “I have voted for Dana, i think he should be our towns mascot and a more than worthy winner of this :) ”

Becky “Dana to win! Definitely a worthy winner and a credit to bridgnorth! ”

Peter Jones “This man just never gives up how he keeps running in his puff outfit I will never know but he brings a smile to many peoples faces well done keep going!”

Gail “I vote for Dana - good luck 😀”

Pat williams “Vote for Dana”

Ceri “I voted for Beti .A wonderful lady.Not only is she a fantastic teacher and helps her pupils achieve their full potential at whatever level that may be, Beti is also one of the kindest nicest people you could meet . With her brightly coloured clothes and winning smile she lights up your day !A true inspirationxx ”

marlene Seager “1 vote for Dana, Best of Luck! :D x ”

Frank Williams “I think he is a pleasure to the community around him and seems like a helping hand to brighten up people's day! His wife and him are a great team and they always think of others before themselves! Hard working and a determined man why shouldn't he be the winner !”

Peter Stoker “I vote for Dana Power. ”

Amanda Newman “Dana”

Mike Dubens “Vote Beti Williams.”

Pauline Lindsey “I vote for David Lindsey”

Sharon Waterworth “I vote for Dana - Good Luck :-) ”

Wendy Clench “Dana to win! He and Tina are a great team, he always thinks of others and I'm very proud that he's my brother!! X”

Mick Gylanders “I vote for David Lindsey”

Helen McCann “I vote for Ken McKay”

Rachael Parker “I vote for Beti Williams xx”

Bridget Jones “I voted for Dana Powers great community conscious man.”

Sian Lewis “Vote for purple Beti ”

Elaine “I vote for Susan Bathurst”

sian “Vote for purple Beti ”

Rosie Giovino “I vote for Ken McKay”

Stephen Jones “I voted for Dana ”

F Tomkins “Ivote for Beti Williams”

Carol Wellings “I vote for Dana.”

Pauline smith “We see him weekly running up & down the steep bypass dressed has puff on the way to school ,the children love him ,we always toot our horn so we get a wave .wonderful person deserves to win .”

Suzanne Linney “Sue Ash is not just a inspiration to me personally but to everyone that knows her. Truly an amazing lady xx”

Anita taylor “He would be a worthy winner ”

Katherine Quinn “This guy has supported many charities over the years but Asthma UK is where his heart is at. Always willing to help/support anyone in need especially events that involve much dedication. He certainly deserves a holiday after all the hours he puts in to help others. Good luck xx ”

Sue Tipton “Dana to win”

Andy Newman “Dana he never stops from helping others and raising money for charity ”

Julie smith “Dana is fab!”

Pauline Hinton “Dana is a inspiration to us all. What a Star. ”

Dana Power “A wonderful energetic man, works very hard for charity. Well deserves a little something for himself & family. Cheers us up when you see him walking. Give him a toot if in the car ”

Diane rix “A lovely guy who deserves to win & a lovely wife Tina who's supported him all the way ,good luck you pair xxx”

barrie taylor “Dana brightens up our town”