CHARITY champion Colin Burgin-Plews, better known as his alter-ego The Big Pink Dress man, has been announced as the regional winner of the Pride of Britain Fundraiser of the Year.

Over the last five years, Jarrow-born Colin Burgin-Plews has raised more than £120,000 for charity, with nearly half of that sum going towards the national charity Breast Cancer Now.

Colin as achieved local notoriety running a mixture of marathons, half marathons and 10k races whilst wearing a selection of extravagant dresses, all of which have been handmade from scratch by the man himself.

His success means that he will go on to join winners from ITV’s other regions to attend the ceremony in London.

Speaking about the award, Colin said: “It’s an honour to be ITV Tyne Tees Pride of Britain Fundraiser of the year.

"A huge thank you to everyone who has donated to Big Pink dress over the years, the support has been absolutely phenomenal and I couldn’t have done it without you all. I can’t wait to get to London, and yes, there is a new dress for the occasion."

Colin’s charity career has additionally been celebrated through an exhibition of his dresses by Prince Bishops Shopping Centre, in Durham.

Coinciding with, and part of the inaugural Durham City Run Festival, The Big Pink Dress Exhibition showcased a handpicked selection of the 56 dresses accompanied by informative video-footage for visitors to enjoy, and learn about the inspiration driving his charity journey.

The exhibition was featured at several locations around Durham’s city centre and provided a platform through which to highlight his achievements, whilst also raising awareness for the charities he has supported over the years.

Prince Bishops Shopping Centre manager, Richard Toynbee, said: "We have loved having the exhibition at the shopping centre, hosting such an inspirational selection of dresses.

"The work that Colin has done for charity over the last few years is truly exceptional, so it’s been fantastic to celebrate his success and hopefully inspire future fundraising."

Colin was unable to take part in this year’s Great North Run following problems with his heart. The fundraiser had a heart scare which saw him rushed to hospital with chest pains and numbness in his arm earlier in July. Doctors told him he had a problem with a valve.

But he is on the road to recovery and is planning to take part in the next London Marathon.