The Streets star MIKE SKINNER is alarmed at the success he's achieved with his ballad DRY YOUR EYES - because people are now wrongly labelling him "soft".

The urban rapper - best known for his self-styled "geezer garage" tunes - has discovered scoring a British number one hit with a song far detached from his usual offerings has ultimately damaged his reputation.

He says, "There's being seen as sensitive and there's being seen as soft. I don't want to be seen as soft. That song has got me scary levels of fame - bodyguards and stuff.

"After this, no more ballad hell - it's back to geezer garage."

However, Skinner does admit the heart-wrenching love song has turned him into an object of desire for women.

He adds, "Suddenly I'm a lot more attractive to women. I think that Dry Your Eyes could get me a supermodel girlfriend. Serious."

25/08/2004 14:03