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article imageVote for 'Beard of the Year'

By Tim Sandle     Dec 2, 2013 in Odd News
London - Fashions come and fashions go. In the U.K. there has been a gradual shift towards men sprouting a beard. Or maybe they never went out of fashion? A new poll has opened to allow people to vote for the 'Beard of the Year.'
Amongst the wiry contenders for the 2013 'Beard of the Year' prize are the 'War Doctor' John Hurt, actor and comedian Russell Brand, singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, and TV interviewer Jeremy Paxman.
To show examples of some of this year's hopefuls, here is a recently bearded Billy Bragg:
Cover image - Billy Bragg  Tooth and Nail
Cover image - Billy Bragg 'Tooth and Nail'
Billy Bragg
In contrast, this is Russell Brand's beard:
Recently seen in Doctor Who, John Hurt is on the right in this photograph:
Three Doctors for The Day of the Doctor (Matt Smith David Tennant  John Hurt)
Three Doctors for The Day of the Doctor (Matt Smith,David Tennant, John Hurt)
BBC / Doctor Who
The contest has been organized by the Beard Liberation Front, an informal network of beard wearers. The emphasis this year is on new beard wearers. Discussing the growing trend in bards, BLF Organizer Keith Flett commented: "you need only look on the men’s fashion pages to see that beards are hip in 2013. But Beard of the Year is not just about how trendy the beard is. As in previous years it is whether the beard makes a positive impact in the public eye and promotes a good image of the hirsute."
The annual ' Beard of the Year' shortlist, for 2013, consists of:
Tony Benn
Billy Bragg
Russell Brand
Michael Eavis
Tim Howard
John Hurt
Gareth Malone
Geoff Parling
Jeremy Paxman
Matt Prior
Michael Rosen
Francis Wheen
To vote, go to the BLF website.
Meanwhile, here are some interesting facts about beards (via the BBC):
History of beards:
Beards, fake and real, were fashionable in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome
4th Century BC: Alexander the Great ordered his soldiers to shave to avoid having their beards seized during combat,
1587: Sir Francis Drake boasted to Elizabeth I that his raid on Cadiz harbour "singed the King of Spain's beard",
1895: William Gillette's invention of safety razor put beards in greater peril,
1960s: CIA said to have considered using depilatory on Castro to rob "El Barbudo" of his famous beard.
More about Beard, whiskers, facial hair, Billy Bragg, Russell brand
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