Burnley rapper Leon has some real 'Naked Attraction'

Leon Akbar
Leon Akbar

A talented rap artist from Burnley bared his soul - and a lot more besides - when he appeared on the cheeky TV show 'Naked Attraction'.

Former Habergham High School pupil Leon Akbar (28) appeared on the Channel Four show in which contestants strip naked and choose a date based "solely on the power of naked attraction".

And it was a conversation Leon had struck up on the Tinder dating app that led to his appearance on the no-holds-barred show.

He said: "I was having a very pleasant conversation with a young lady on Tinder who it turned out worked for Channel Four. She didn't want a date with me, but did want me to appear on Naked Attraction so I ended up with a date anyway!

"It was definitely one of the weirdest things I've ever done in my life, it was just so surreal. My one condition was that I wanted to be the one choosing. It was only at the end of the show that I had to strip off.

"My parents haven't watched the show but I don't think they were overly surprised because I'm quite an extravagant person. One of my sisters has avoided it like the plague and my other sister watched it, but with her partner 'editing' some of the scenes with his hand!"

And although he admitted that the nature of the show is "shallow" Leon revealed it had helped him overcome some personal demons.

Anyone who has seen Leon perform on stage will have witnessed a colourful, confident and extravagant character, but the musician, who once performed alongside celebrated rapper Tinchy Stryder, admitted that exuberance hides a more shy persona.

Indeed, mixed race Leon said his appearance on Naked Attraction had boosted his confidence and helped him battle his mental health issues.

"Growing up in Burnley as a mixed race boy was not always the easiest, I always felt like the black sheep. While the situation has improved in recent years, there's still a of ignorance about and I still feel different.

"However, going on Naked Attraction has really empowered me. I've had a really positive reaction from friends and family, and I now feel a lot more confident in myself," Leon added.

Leon chose Polish model Monica and the pair enjoyed a night out in Manchester staright after the show but admitted that neither were seriously looking for love.

"For me music is my passion. I've just completed a degree in music performane and production, and I wanted to boost my profile by appearing on the show. I think Monica had a similar motivation.

"I'm actually now in a relationship with someone I met at one of my gigs. I also do a lot of photography, videography and the creative arts. I suppose Naked Attraction fits in well with all of these.

"I can understand that many people will see the concept of the show as shallow but it does break down boundaries and taboos which isn't always a bad thing."

To listen to Leon's music visit https://open.spotify.com/artist/1p45yF2Gs1ESve6N8pzHzV?si=og4IMWV1QyKBfiKeeuNzBw