“We’ve got bigger problems in the world than me” – Bianca Del Rio on being labelled a bully

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After a sell-out tour of the UK in 2016, Bianca Del Rio returns to premiere her Blame it on Bianca show next Summer.

As the alter ego of seasoned comic Roy Haylock and season 6 winner of US reality series RuPaul’s Drag Race, Bianca Del Rio is known for her foul mouth and unapologetic humour.

“I am very excited for the tour,” says Roy. “I start the tour in Australia this November and then I’ll be doing the U.S. before ending here in the UK. It’s always good to have work and it’s always good to have an audience. As long as you have both, I’m quite happy. This tour also gives me an opportunity to tell stories where I am at fault. There are a lot of things that I do that I’m not necessarily proud of, but I discuss this in the show.”

When I met Roy in his Holborn press junket hotel room, he was out of his familiar drag costume, so I was curious to see how much of Bianca we would see during filming.

“There really is no difference,” says Roy. “I’m still the same hurtful person! Obviously when you are in drag, you can get away with it more.”

Yet despite the glaring indications that Bianca Del Rio is a comedy character (and let’s be frank, she’s not a shy spirit), there are certain people that use the internet who seem intent on being offended and exposing their distaste.

“With social media, everyone’s got an opinion on everything nowadays, which is quite fascinating to me,” says Roy. “I grew up pre social media so I don’t get what the big deal is. There are a lot of things that I hate, but I don’t go to their page and tell them. I don’t do that, I just don’t care!”

19th July 2018 Liverpool Empire
20th July 2018 Glasgow Clyde
21st July 2018 Edinburgh Usher Hall
23rd July 2018 Manchester Apollo
25th July 2018 Newcastle City Hall
27th July 2018 London Eventim Apollo
28th July 2018 Brighton Centre
30th July 2018 Birmingham Symphony Hall
1st August 2018 Cardiff St David’s Hall
4th August 2018 Belfast Waterfront Hall
6th August 2018 Dublin Bord Gais

The Official Bianca Del Rio Website / Watch my interview videos below

Hurricane Bianca

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Alison Moyet Announces Video For New Single ‘The Rarest Birds’

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Alison Moyet is delighted to unveil the video for ‘The Rarest Birds’, the second single to be taken from her much-praised album Other.

Filmed in her beloved hometown of Brighton and directed by award-winning photographer and videographer Steve Gullick, the video explores themes of diversity and acceptance.

“The Rarest Birds is a paean to LGBTQ, to Brighton, to coming out after the darkest nights into the arms of those that delight in your flight. From me to you,” says Alison.

A long-time advocate of Equal Rights and a patron of the charity, Diversity Role Models, Alison celebrates her LGBTQ friends, and those unknown to her but no less present, in this dramatic, cinematic and anthemic track.

“This song celebrates a place where a person can be who they were meant to be. It celebrates solidarity when it comes to individualism. It holds hands and calls time on silence, stillness, fear. It celebrates beautiful girls born boys. Stronger boys for being born girls. Freedom to identify where best we fit.”

Alison Moyet The Rarest Birds Cover

Later this month, Alison will be performing in “I Feel Love”, a special concert part of Hull, City of Culture’s LGBT 50, marking the 50th anniversary of sexual freedom in the UK.

This September Alison will embark on a worldwide headline tour, including UK and Irish dates from October 27th to November 28th.

Photography by Steve Gullick

● More about: | Alison Moyet

Watch my interview with Alison below.


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A Close Encounter With Fez Faanana From Briefs

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The Briefs mother ship has just crash-landed on London’s Southbank for an alien invasion of the third kind. The Australian creative collective are back in town with a euphoric new show, Close Encounters.

Featuring their trademark heart-stopping blend of cabaret burlesque, Aussie machismo and punkish swagger, these extra-terrestrial invaders are taking no prisoners. Having glitter-bombed the globe, the boys are now exploring the third dimension to test the limits of masculinity, taste and decency.

Energy levels are as sky high as previous outings as the guys mix up a blend of dancing, tumbling, juggling, acro-balancing, trapeze, hula hooping, lip-syncing, sequins, feathers and frocks.

“We try and create this idiotic, irreverent, fun, entertaining world,” says Fez Faanana – the Director of Briefs, and the man responsible for hosting their life-affirming show as Commander Shivannah.

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Pic credit: Kate Pardey

It’s a memorable troupe. The Las Vegas award-winning Captain Kidd takes proceedings to the outer limits with his alluring athleticism. The anarchic alien provocateur Harry Clayton-Wright goes where no man has gone before with his mix of comedy, cabaret and live art. The elastic android Thomas Gundry Greenfield bends eyes with his twists and turns. One of Australia’s leading aerialists, contortionists and circus trainers, Thomas Worrell, defies gravity and literally ties himself in knots as he takes a lone space walk over the audience. The queer Kamilaroi man from Mungindi Dale Woodbridge Brown goes into hyper-drive with his acrobatics, flying trapeze, baton twirling, and dance. And Louis Biggs sets his phaser to stun as he has the audience gasping for mercy.

“Sometimes people get dragged to our show and they say they’ve been converted,” says Faanana.

“Predominantly the show is about celebrating life. At the top of the show you often see girls that have dragged their boyfriends along, and the guys are really uncomfortable. But by the end the guys are whispering ‘jealous’, and they’re reciting all the catchphrases that happen throughout the show!”

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Pic credit: John Tsiavis

Briefs began almost a decade ago in 2008 on Brisbane’s alternative variety scene initially setting out to create an informal space where professional performers could test drive innovative, late night cabaret acts. In 2010, they transitioned from the late night performance club to a performance ensemble when the company was engaged to create its first ‘official’ full-length work. Over the last five years Briefs have swaggered, shimmied, swished and swung all over the world, selling out in London, Berlin, Paris, Auckland, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide.

I went to London’s Southbank to meet Briefs Director Fez Faanana to chat about the UK premiere of their brand new show and their growth in popularity.

Watch the interview below.

● Briefs : Close Encounters runs at Underbelly Festival, Southbank until Sept 30 

● More about: Briefs 

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Pride in London 2017 with Intermedia UK

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This year, I celebrated Pride in London with the team at Intermedia UK and a host of celebrities from Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Hollyoaks and more.

Jonni Learoyd at Channel 4 kindly asked me to DJ with Nova Dando as part of the Pride Parade, which started at London’s Portland Place, before taking in Regent Street, Oxford Circus and The Mall on its travels, before finishing a few hours later at Whitehall.

InterMediaUK was set up by Creative Skillset’s LGBT employee group and Stonewall in 2012. It is an LGBT network group for people working across the media spectrum. Currently there are members from TV, film, publishing, advertising and computing.

Many LGBT people don’t have employee or freelance networks to connect with and some creative companies can be relatively small. Both these things mean networking with LGBT colleagues and contacts can be sometimes be difficult. Creative industries can be an LGBT friendly place but in these fast moving and influential businesses it can sometimes be challenging to find like minded people to connect with.

Based on the interests of its members, InterMediaUK provides a comfortable space for networking, forming new professional contacts, sourcing potential career and business opportunities as well as creating regular social and special events.

Check out my video, which I produced on the day, below.

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RuPaul’s Drag Race star Peppermint on her hopes, fears and feeling fierce

A year ago, I was invited to drag star Peppermint’s London hotel room to chat to her about her music, her live shows, and her short stay in the city. It was a meeting that happened before the whirlwind of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9.

I first met Peppermint almost a decade ago when I worked for LGBT dance radio station GaydarRadio. She came to the studios in Twickenham with her entourage of male dancers to chat about her album, Hardcore Glamour, and the work that she’d so tirelessly been concentrating on since she started performing in bars and clubs such as Tunnel on the New York City nightlife scene.

It was a brilliantly joyous, outrageous first encounter, and I hit it off with her from the start. It was obvious to me, and I am sure others, that Peppermint’s life was on the cusp of even greater, more thrilling adventures. Soon after our radio interview (and her surprise visit to see me DJ at London’s Profile), we enjoyed her Gaga/Beyonce ‘Telephone’ parody (‘Make Me Moan’) with fellow queen Sherry Vine, and her appearances in Ugly Betty and America’s Next Top Model.

What a decade it has been for Peppermint. I for one could not be happier for her.

with Peppermint / Profile, London 2009

I wasn’t surprised when I found out that Peppermint had landed a part as a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race – an American reality competition TV series where fierce (and sometimes not-so-fierce) queens ‘lip-sync for their life’ and battle it out to be America’s next drag superstar.

In my mind, Peppermint was already that, but I was intrigued to see how this warm personality was going to compete in the mini challenges, let alone the library! After all, the library is usually open if you can be playful, have fun and not look down on others.

A few days ago, Peppermint returned to London to take on some promo dates in the city, including the Queens Werq The World tour date at Troxy. Once more, I met up with her at her hotel. And yes, I sprawled on her bed again. It’s purely professional you do understand.

During our chat we touched on the importance of her opening up as trans on one of the Drag Race Season 9 episodes, as well as the challenges of truly being herself on the show.

“To some people, it’s so boring if you’re not bitchy,” Peppermint said.

It’s clear that the Drag Race experience so far has been an enjoyable one, but also testing.

“You’re in this fish tank, and it’s closed, and there is no oxygen. And there is no food! And there is no sleep! So your reactions are going to be even more heightened. I might have said some things even more quickly than I would have done normally.

“One of the fears that I had taking on the show was that I would be rejected by all these other queens. I was scared that I wouldn’t get along with these queens, that it would be so catty, and so petty. But it hasn’t been like that.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 – produced by World of Wonder for Logo TV – continues on Netflix and VH1. Watch my 2016 interview with Peppermint below.

Cover Girl

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BFI Flare 2017 – Review Round-Up

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BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival celebrated its 31st edition at the British Film Institute on Southbank last month.

Once again, this yearly selection of films and documentaries of LGBTQ fiction and non-fiction works pushed the boundaries and expressed emotion and talent.

One of the most significant and long standing film events in the world’s LGBT calendar, BFI Flare presented over 50 features, more than 100 shorts and a wide range of special events, guest appearances, discussions, workshops, club nights and much more.

With the help of singer-songwriter Katherine Ellis, electro pop music blogger Raj Rudolph and actor Kris Webb, I saw and reviewed many of the films on show. Watch our vlogs of the launch party below:

Against The Law – dir. Fergus O’Brien

The festival opened with the World Premiere of Against the Law (directed by Fergus O’Brien and starring Daniel Mays, Mark Gatiss and Charlie Creed-Miles), a sensitive adaptation of Peter Wildeblood’s bestselling memoir, telling the story of his affair with a handsome serviceman and the subsequent court case which led to his imprisonment.

Special Presentations at BFI Flare this year included Vincent Gagliostro’s passionate and inspirational After Louie where Alan Cumming gives a stand-out performance as a troubled survivor of the AIDS epidemic.

Watch our review video below:

The HEARTS programme included films about love, romance and friendship. Handsome Devil, directed by John Butler and starring Andrew Scott, is a witty Irish charmer which charts the unlikely friendship between an isolated gay teen and his hunky rugby playing roommate. Read Raj Rudolph’s review over on his excellent EQ Music website.

Dante Alencastre’s documentary Raising Zoey follows a strong family who demonstrate how open mindedness and love can pave the way for a joyful transition for their 13-year-old Zoey.

Watch our video review of Raising Zoey below:

Waiting for B (dir. Paulo Cesar Toldeo) is a kitschy, light-hearted and thoroughly camp portrayal of pop culture, mega fandom and the adoration of Beyoncé. I was joined by actor/singer Kris Webb to watch and review this documentary, which you can watch below.

The Handmaiden [Blu-ray]

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LGBTPodcast Updates

MOVIE REVIEW: Raising Zoey | BFI Flare 2017

In this video, Phil and Katherine review Raising Zoey at the BFI Flare 2017 London LGBT Film Festival.

Raising Zoey is a documentary capturing the uplifting story of a strong family demonstrating how open-mindedness and love can pave the way for a joyful transition.

PMKETV is an entertainment explosion of entertainment news, reviews, gossip & celebrity guests, presented by Phil Marriott, Katherine Ellis and Max Ellis. Listen to the PMKEpodcast here.


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The Naked Civil Servant gets brand new restoration

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Originally broadcast on British TV in 1976, The Naked Civil Servant was the compelling drama that won John Hurt his first Best Actor BAFTA.

It tells the remarkable true story of Quentin Crisp, self-proclaimed England’s Stately Homo, who lived an openly homosexual lifestyle from the 1930s in London at a time when it was a criminal offence.

Following his openly flamboyant life through the haunts of Belgravia, Chelsea and Soho, it brings us into the 1970s. His best-selling autobiography, The Naked Civil Servant forms the basis for Philip Mackie’s script for this highly acclaimed drama.

BAFTA-nominated for best Single TV Drama and winning the prestigious Prix Italia Award, The Naked Civil Servant provides John Hurt with a career-defining performance and it gave Quentin a celebrity status that saw him perform one-man shows and take small acting roles including Sally Potter’s Orlando (1992). He died in 1999.

Executive produced by Verity Lambert (Doctor Who) and directed by Jack Gold, there are cameo early roles for Roger Lloyd-Pack (Only Fools and Horses), John Rhys-Davies (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Patricia Hodge (Rumpole of the Bailey, Miranda).

Voted fourth in BFI’s Top 100 TV programmes of 20th Century, the film has been fully restored in high-definition from the original film elements and still retains its power and social relevance, particularly in the year that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act.

It remains one of the most significant LGBT dramas of all time as well as a fitting tribute to John Hurt, a much loved actor, who died in January.

● The Naked Civil Servant is released by Network and available on BluRay/ DVD on 5th June. DVD extras include: Commentary with John Hurt, Verity Lambert and Jack Gold; ‘Making Of’ documentary; ‘Seven men – Quentin Crisp’ documentary. To pre-order, click on the link below.

The Naked Civil Servant [Blu-ray]

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