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Super-slimmer staff are the toast of pub; Pair raise charity cash by losing nearly five stone between them.

Byline: By TOM MULLEN

PULLING pints for a living, these two lads liked nothing better than a few beers and a packet of crisps.

But landlord Nick Spence and barman Andy Mason gave up the pies and pints to lose stones in weight for charity.

Between them, the pair, who work at the Blue Bell pub in Jesmond Vale, Newcastle, lost nearly six stone in under three months.

And they raised pounds 1,291 for breast cancer research after being inspired by Nick's partner Michelle, who recently recovered from the disease.

Nick, 34, who was 17 stone before he started skipping the fry-ups, said: "I used to have a bacon sandwich every morning and that was probably the hardest thing to give up.

"I just swapped that for cereal and fruit, watched my beer intake a bit and went down the gym.

"Andy was a big chocolate and crisps fan so that was the main thing he had to cut out.

"It is tempting to chug away on pints and sandwiches all the time when you're working in a pub. It was tough."

Andy, 30, who was 18 stone before he gave up the choccies, added: "I was trying for ages at first but I wasn't losing anything. But I really gave it some and actually lost 11 pounds in one week."

As well as swapping junk food for fruit and veg, the two determined lads vowed to keep up a vigorous gym regime, visiting the JJB leisure centre in Byker four times a week.

Friends at the Blue Bell also helped the lads raise cash for the cause with a special race night.

Nick's girlfriend Michelle Pollock, 30, recovered from breast cancer after undergoing reconstructive surgery at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary. She was given the all-clear at the end of last year after years of worry, and Nick has been determined to help others in her situation ever since.

Michelle, a travel agent, said: "They've done very well, I'm proud of them both.

"They kept it up all the way. In the end it was like I was slimming too because I'd be looking forward to chips for tea but Nick would be cooking vegetables."

In three months of slimming, Andy found he had lost 2 stone 11 lbs, while Nick had shed 2 stone 1 lb.

Nick said: "It's a great feeling."

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CHEERS: Blue Bell landlord Nick Spence and barman Andy Mason have shed weight and raised cancer research cash PICTURE: IAIN BUIST www.icNewcastle.co.uk/buyaphoto ref: 01280315
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 8, 2008
Words:424
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