Mison Sere, winner of 'Mr Ugly', is on the left.  
Whereas the real ugliest man in Zimbabwe is on the right.

I rate this story as amongst the most macabre and ‘unsettling’ I’ve come across recently.  I’m not sure why it makes me feel so uneasy and unhappy.  It just does.

It seems that some of the crowd at Zimbabwe's annual Mr Ugly contest have complained that the winner was not ugly enough.

Winner Mison Sere wore torn overalls to compete but the runner-up and his supporters said his ugliness (see above) wasn't natural since it was based on missing teeth.

Mr Sere won $500 (£330) and plans to start a TV career.

Runner-up William Masvinu (above) has won every previous year of the competition. He took home £100 this year.  And apparently, his wife supports him.  Winning the competition in previous years has brought him fame (by Zimbabwean standards) and a few minor marketing contracts.  ‘To be rewarded is a good thing; this competition has done a lot for me; it's changed my life’, he said.

Now, Mr Sere is hoping for the same fame and fortune.  He said that he already goes around schools performing and, as he put it, ‘showcasing my ugliness’.  He sees winning the competition as a chance to make it onto TV.

The organiser, David Machowa, said that models make money from their looks, so ugly people should have the same opportunity.  And he hopes that the contest is just the start of it.  He is planning Mr Ugly World, to be staged in Harare in 2017.

Personally, I’m not sure if this is good news or not.  Or why.
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Three loud cheers for Andrew Neil - not something you’ll hear me say very often.  But this time, he very definitely deserves it.

His anti-IS tirade on tv has gone viral on YouTube.  I’ve watched it several times and have applauded loudly each time.  His list of historic French contributions to literature, music, sculpture, film, cuisine, education, language, science, philosophy, medicine and almost every other aspect of civilisation is deeply impressive, even though it’s by no means exhaustive.

Fortunately for Mr Neil, he includes Saint-Saëns, in whose honour I will once again be visiting Paris next month.

And I just can’t wait.

If you haven’t encountered his uplifting and inspiring statement of defiant contempt, you can watch it here.  (If the link doesn’t work, cut and paste it into your internet browser’s ‘search’ box.)

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