A HAIR stylist has been thrust into the spotlight after revealing his school bullies' taunt was the inspiration behind his salon name.

David Clancy has garnered national attention this week, appearing on BBC News and GB News with Eamonn Holmes yesterday, to explain the remarkable story behind his Ulverston salon, 'Nancy Clancy'.

The Barrow hairdresser found newfound fame after penning an article in the New Statesman which describes how the 50-year-old reclaimed his school bullies' nickname.

Mr Clancy was labelled 'Nancy Clancy' by tormentors at his Barrow school as a child.

While rarely seen or heard nowadays, 'Nancy' was a derogatory term to suggest effeminate traits in men and boys.

Decades later, Mr Clancy said he is proud to have reclaimed the nickname, which glows in neon pink letters at the front of his salon in Upper Brook Street.

He said: "Nancy Clancy was my nickname during school which wasn't nice at the time.

"I was a girly kid with a lisp who couldn't kick a football. I never felt like I fit the male standards.

"In the 90s, me and my friends were all discussing our nicknames and they started calling me 'Nancy Clancy' but it was said with love.

"The power had been taken out of the name.

"I feel proud taking ownership of the name now. When I took over the salon, I knew that's what I wanted to call it.

"It felt right."

Mr Clancy opened 'Nancy Clancy' in the summer after previously working at Helen Gee hairdressing which closed down during lockdown.

Despite only being able to accommodate one client at a time, Mr Clancy said he enjoys the intimacy of a smaller salon.

He said: "I love how it's only one and one. I've worked in hairdressers where there's six or seven clients at a time and people really open up in a smaller setting and feel like they can be themselves.

"People are more comfortable.

"The response from the community has been brilliant.

"All of my clients love the sign. So many people walking past pop their head in or ask about the shop. "

And since featuring on national television, Mr Clancy has been inundated with fan mail praising his salon name choice.

"Ever since that first article in the New Statesman, I've had fan mail online, emails, texts, so many people have got in touch," he said.

"It's been such a positive response - it's fantastic.

"I was on GB News yesterday morning talking with Eamonn Holmes and really enjoyed it.

"It's my first ever experience on live TV so it was quite daunting but I loved it."

As well as running his town centre salon, Mr Clancy is also part of a creative writing project co-founded by critically-acclaimed actor, Michael Sheen.

The project is aimed at supporting those from underrepresented backgrounds break into the world of writing.

Part of the project includes a bursary, which Mr Clancy used to buy his now-famous neon pink 'Nancy Clancy' sign.

Mr Clancy has even created a writing room above the salon to help nurture his love of literacy.