Rosie-tinted Spectacles

Monday, 26 March 2012

ACTRESS Helen Flanagan has swapped a modelling career on the cobbles of Coronation Street for the real thing as she launches Specsavers' nationwide search for the Spectacle Wearer of the Year 2012.

Having grown up in front of the nation playing Rosie Webster in the long-running soap, Helen, 22, is now helping Britain's most trusted optician* to find ordinary people who look extraordinary in their glasses.

Helen, who has worn glasses since the age of nine, says: 'I first realised I needed to wear glasses when I couldn't see the whiteboard at school. I was delighted as I was always nagging my mum to get me a pair. I love trying out new looks with my glasses. They bring out a different side to me.'

Since leaving Coronation Street where she was last seen on-screen in February, Helen is keeping an open mind about future projects but definitely has more modelling in her sights and maybe even treading the boards in the West End.

'I love doing photoshoots, it's probably the only thing I had in common with Rosie. We are both really girly and like modelling.

'I really enjoyed the 1960s-themed shoot for this campaign. I wore lots of different wigs which made me wish I had long hair again! But the best thing about this campaign is that it supports anti-bullying charity, Kidscape. Anything that helps stamp out bullying of any kind, especially if it's for wearing glasses, is a great thing.'     

Now in their fifth year of supporting Kidscape, Specsavers will donate £1 for every eligible competition entry to the charity, as well as all proceeds from a high profile auction led by Specsavers ambassador Gok Wan, which will take place at the competition final in London in October.

Specsavers founder, Dame Mary Perkins, says: 'Helen is the perfect ambassador for us. She's young, confident and fun and she uses her glasses to completely transform her look. She is the ideal role model for young specs wearers out there.'

Every year, Specsavers scours theUKto find the girls and boys next door who look amazing in their specs. The competition is open to men and women aged 16 and over, who are current specs wearers or wear glasses for fashion purposes.  Specsavers and topLondonagency MOT Models will be specs-spotting this summer in city centres up and down the country.

Regional stars will earn a place on the catwalk at Britain's biggest spectacle fashion-fest in October, with the winner receiving a one year modelling contract with MOT Models, a two week premier, all-inclusive holiday for two in Barbados courtesy of Almond Resorts and Virgin Holidays with £250 worth of spending money, a makeover with (and products by) TV celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton, a year's supply of skincare products from Simple, a fantastic goody bag including hair and skincare products, a £150 Specsavers designer eye care voucher and the coveted Spectacle Wearer of the Year trophy.

To enter, visit any Specsavers store or log on to:

*Specsavers was voted Britain's most trusted brand of opticians for the tenth year running by the Reader's Digest Trusted Brands survey 2011.



Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf of Specsavers

Specsavers notes to editors


  • Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world. The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their son John is joint managing director.
  • Specsavers has more than 1,600 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group was £1.5 billion for 2010/2011 and is forecast to reach £1.6 billion in 2011/2012.
  • 7.6m customers used Specsavers in 2011 - more than in any other year.
  • Specsavers Optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners.  Together, they offer both optical and hearing services under one roof.
  • Specsavers employs more than 26,000 staff.
  • Specsavers was voted Britain's most trusted brand of opticians for the tenth year running by the Reader's Digest Trusted Brands survey 2011.
  • More than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers* - 10,800,000 glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2011.
  • Specsavers was ranked No 1 for both eye tests and glasses in the UK*.
  • Specsavers is the largest retail provider of home delivery contact lenses in Europe and one of the top two retail suppliers of continuous wear lenses in the world.
  • Specsavers is now the largest retail dispenser of digital hearing aids in the UK and offers a hearing service from more than 400 locations.
  • Specsavers supports numerous optical and hearing charities, including Guide Dogs and Hearing for Deaf People.  During its three-year support for Diabetes UK it raised more than £250,000 to fund various projects.
  • Since 2003 more than a quarter of a million glasses have been collected and recycled by Specsavers stores for Vision Aid Overseas, for use in developing countries.  Specsavers has raised over £370,000 for the charity since 2006, with almost £250,000 going towards its work in Zambia.