A MALE drummer has put his name forward to become a Carnival Queen, claiming the search for female royalty is sexist.

Greg Draven has submitted an official application for the role at Eastbourne Carnival on Saturday June 11 and has even organised a picture in a dress.

The rough and ready 40-year-old says he is waiting to hear back from the organisers.

He said: "It all started off as a joke but then I thought why shouldn’t I enter. Applicants had to be 16 or over and female, and I thought that can’t be right.

"Why shouldn’t there be a carnival King? This has brought to the fore the issue of gender equality.

"People have asked me if I will go through with it if I win, and the answer has to be yes, I will."

Greg, who lives in Eastbourne, is a member of the Pentacle Drummers.

He added: "Why do applicants for Eastbourne Sunshine Carnival queen have to be female? I find that disgustingly sexist.

"On reflection this campaign is a lot deeper than it appears. A contest that seems to be based on looks has no place in 21st century Eastbourne.

"While it is a traditional role, tradition isn't always a good thing and a change is as good as a rest.

"What are we teaching our children by having such contests? That it’s OK to judge someone on their looks rather than their worth? This is not about me winning the position but offering an alternative viewpoint in a fun way.

"I believe the role of Carnival King/Queen is outdated and archaic.

"My alternative idea is to have the Carnival Ambassador (working title) instead. This would be open to anyone - all ages and all genders.

"The winner/winners should be someone who deserves to be treated like royalty for a day and represent what the carnival represents, the best Eastbourne has to offer."

Greg has had plenty of support on his Facebook page and a campaign is growing for him to be officially accepted as a nomination.

The deadline has passed for nominations and organisers have confirmed his application has been received.