A little while ago I posted a video of a man doing a nude fun run for a charity. I went and had a look at his website and thought Joel would make an interesting interview subject as he seems to have dipped his toe into a very varied collection of jobs and past times.

What inspired you to start doing these events for charity?
I first went to the world bog snorkelling championships in Wales, just as a one off, with a few friends.  We had a great day, the locals made us very welcome, and after that I started to look around the UK and abroad to see what other events I could get into to raise a bit of money for good causes.  The next month I went to the Great Gorilla Run in London… and it just kind of snow-balled from there!

A lot of the events are for their own particular charity. Do you have any guidelines about what you will and won’t participate in?
I’ll raise money for any good cause… There are some local charities that I raise money for, which the help the community I live in, but I also raise money for the bigger national charities too. As for events, no I’ll do just about anything!

Is this your full time career? If so, how do you survive financially?
In terms of a career, well, see my bio on www.joelhicks.com!  At the minute, I’m a non-practicing barrister, who earns his crust dancing, modelling and by doing other odds and sods.

Have you kept a tally of how much money you’ve raised over the years?
No, and it’s hard to… These days I’m associated with a large number of events, and I help them raise money as a whole… Events like the World Gravy Wrestling Championships, World Egg Throwing Championships, Tough Guy etc.  so it’s not easy to say how much I’ve raised… but it’s certainly a lot more than I’ve earned!

You look incredibly fit. Is that to compete in these events or can you do the events because you are so fit?
A bit of both… I was a keen boxer into my late 20’s, and I’ve always loved my sports, but now obviously do what I do, I have to take care of the machine!  I do a lot of weight training, and dancing, and I just make sure I keep myself in decent condition all year round for whatever event I have coming up next!

My blog has a rather high nudity quota and you came to our attention doing a nude 5 km run. You clearly aren’t a shy man but was there any hesitation about running around nude in public for so long?
It’s held in a naturist area in Wales, so it’s not too bad… You wouldn’t want to run any further because of the chafing!  But hey, we’re all different shapes and sizes, and after a few minutes the novelty wears off!

What are some of your favourite charities to support?
I’m a keen supporter of Rainbows Children’s Hospice, which is a hospice near where I live, which looks after terminally ill children and provides rest bite care for their families.  But I’ll help anyone…

Most charities have celebrities affiliated with them and you have dozens of photos with celebrities at events. Who was the celebrity you were most excited to meet?
Erm… that’s a tricky one… I don’t really get fazed by that kind of thing, after all we’re all just people… it was great meeting Paul O’Grady, and his show really helped to promote the work I do.

As someone with military training, ballroom dancing training, modelling experience, being qualified to practice law and to teach, would it be fair to say you are someone that constantly needs new challenges?
I always like to keep challenging myself and learning new things.  Each year I try and tackle something that is totally out of my comfort zone, and that’s how I got into ballroom dancing.  Before then I had been an accomplished boxer and boxing coach, and dancing was the last thing I would have ever been associated with.  This year I’m attempting to do the Berlin Inline Skating Marathon – and I’ve never skated before!

Does traveling to all these charity events and doing crazy things in the name of charity satisfy your thirst for adventure?
No two events are ever the same, that’s for sure… But whether it’s through the charity foundation or not, I’m always looking to experience all that life has to offer.

With such a variety of training and work experience, as well as being thoroughly traveled, do you consider yourself a pretty open minded person?
I guess so.  I think the older you are, the less you care about what people think, and the more willing you are to try whatever it is that you want to do.  Personally, I’m very liberal minded.

After doing a nude fun run and lots of nude photo shoots for your modelling career, is it a safe assumption that you are fairly comfortable with your body?
I think we all have things that we don’t like about our appearance, and no one (and I mean no one!) is perfect… but I guess I’m fairly comfortable with my body… there’s an old saying that men mature like a fine wine, and I think that’s true… At 32 I feel as good as I ever have.

Working on the assumption (from your modelling photos) that you are straight, have you ever done any fund raising for gay charities?
No, but I would.  I have lots of gay friends, and many of the photographers and male models who I work with are gay.  There is talk of me doing a shoot with another man soon!