Interesting Facts about Emmanuel Ray, Britain's First It Boy
Born and raised in in Sri Lanka, Emmanuel Ray grew up in extreme poverty during the civil war, moving from one place to another with his parents and siblings, without a permanent home. He became a Dancer at the age of 6 and performed at various events and festivals, while selling snacks on the beach and working in shops. At the age 15, a professional photographer spotted him on the beach and paved the way to a modeling career. Emmanuel went on to secure a number of photo shoots, ranging from high fashion to art and traveled extensively.
His confident strut on the catwalk, cheeky smile, and the ability to wear daring clothes that most other Asian male models in the nineties weren't comfortable in, got him instant attention. He continued dance and was known for his sensual and erotic performances reminiscent of a bygone era, mixing traditional South Asian styles with exotic Arabian routines, fetishism and fantasy. During the latter part of his modeling career, he worked on promotions for various high profile brands including Estee Lauder, Armani, Gucci, PRADA, Roberto Cavalli, MAC, Givenchy, Guerlain and Volkswagen.
He moved between Asia, the Middle East and Europe. He worked as a Life Model and also dabbled in Alternative Modeling before his career came to an end. He took a break from it all in the early naughties due to personal problems. He reappeared on the scene as a Fashion Commentator and Presenter in 2009.
Now based in London, working as a Fashion Commentator, TV Presenter, Events Host, Socialite and It Boy, Charity Fundraiser and Human Rights Activist. He is often referred to as The Working Socialite, and was referred to as Britain's First It Boy by BBC Entertainment Correspondent Paul Conway. Known for his relaxed and laid back attitude, sharp sense of style and his funny and flirtatious style of presenting, Emmanuel Ray carved a niche for himself and achieved success within a year of starting off as a Presenter & Host in London, UK.
With no formal training in broadcasting, and a slight stutter which he had developed during his childhood, Emmanuel Ray had difficulty finding representation. He met BAFTA award-winning TV Producer & Celebrity Booker Simon Wilson from Express Broadcast at a media networking event in November 2008. Impressed by his 60 second pitch at the mic, Simon took him on his book and offered to train him, officially becoming his agent in March 2009. Emmanuel's career progressed rapidly and he went on to cover a variety of events including London Fashion Week, Clothes Show Live, Ideal Home Show and various other fashion shows, celebrity parties, launch events and art exhibitions and showbiz parties. His flamboyant style, sharp wit and extroverted personality got him instantly noticed.
Emmanuel Ray regularly dispenses invaluable style advice on national radio and worldwide lifestyle channels as well as voicing his honest and sometimes critical view on a variety of topics such as fashion, celebrity, social causes, community issues etc. As a Fashion and Entertainment Presenter and Host, he puts the spot light on up & coming talent in the industry, and offers opportunities to many young people and struggling artists. His willingness to stand up for, defend and help those who're being used, abused or taken advantage of in the industry, prompted Hello Magazine columnist Emily Johnston to aptly name him the Godfather of the Fashion Industry.
Emmanuel Ray and Simon Wilson parted ways in the summer of 2010, but Emmanuel continued to play host at Simon's Black Book Media events at BBC TV Centre London and in Millennium Hotel, Mayfair for s short time. From 2009 until early 2010, Emmanuel was Master of Ceremonies of the prestigious Eccentric Club of which the patron is HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.
At London Fashion Week's 25th anniversary in September 2009, Emmanuel Ray welcomed Mayor of London Boris Johnson at Somerset House, where the event took place. He was also photographed with Joan Collins in the front row at Caroline Charles' fashion show. He was photographed constantly at events during Fashion Week, at various celebrity parties, and the clothes and accessories he wore were repeatedly talked about in various fashion blogs.
Emmanuel Ray is regularly interviewed by the press and talks on many topics ranging from fashion & style to business and the importance of networking, London's glittering social scene, beauty and style on a budget, hints and tips on how to become successful in the creative sectors and also shares his personal story with his audience. He has been interviewed by the BBC, RTE Ireland, Sky, Vogue Taiwan, World Fashion Channel, Fashion TV, Brit Asia TV and various other online channels, websites and newspapers. He has received press coverage in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
At events and shows he has hosted and presented at, Emmanuel Ray has raised funds for various charities including Samaritans, SOS Children's Villages, Save the Children, Look Ahead Housing & Care, Shelter, Portugal Prints, The Arts Club's Charitable Trust and the Derbyshire Hep C Charity. He has worked with churches to help the poor and has tutored children of refugees displaced by the civil war in Sri Lanka.
Emmanuel Ray is currently involved in the Ministry for Peace campaign and attends meetings at the House of Commons, British Parliament. In Sri Lanka, he spoke out against the war and presented at events hosted by the Ceyon Worker's Congress. In South India he spoke out against the ill treatment and abuse of the hijras but was forced to stop when the hijras refused to co operate, after being threatened by gangs and thugs who controlled them. Emmanuel has also worked with troubled male and trans-gendered sex workers in London. His proposed campaign for fair wages and proper living conditions for expat workers in manual labour, in the Arabian Gulf, never progressed due to lack of support. While campaigning for peace and human rights, Emmanuel has been threatened numerous times, arrested, attacked and has also been shot at twice. Yet he continues to lend his voice to causes he believes in and feels passionate about.
Emmanuel appeared on the September issue of My Kali Mag, a Middle East-based gay lifestyle magazine that was forced to stop print publication and go online, due to death threats, obstacles and various other problems encountered by it's editorial team. Emmanuel's cover feature and interview generated a lot of interest and some of the serious issues he discussed such as religion, homophobia, hypocrisy etc were edited out of the interview due to negative feedback.
He also appeared on Brit Asia TV's Broken Silence programme and expressed his views on the attitudes towards homosexuality and the solutions to problems faced by the gay community in ethnic minorities. In his interview on the Arts Group magazine, he shed light on the problems faced by up & coming talent in the creative sectors and how they can succeed in the competitive environment.