In his first UK interview since sashaying away from RuPaul’s Drag Race, this week Charlie Hides chats to Jason Reid about flying the flag for the UK, being a proud older queen, that notorious lip-sync, and more…
SO, what a few months it’s been. How would you sum up your Drag Race experience?
Exhilarating, gruelling and life-changing.
It looked quite stressful. Was it what you were expecting it to be?
It was like my tuck; much harder than it looks.
What did you find most difficult?
Doing cartwheels in the cheerleading challenge with a broken rib, and then not being able to sleep for the next two weeks. Physically, it took its toll on me.
Ex-contestants are sometimes critical of how they’re portrayed. Did the editing do you justice?
For the most part, yes. There was plenty of my trademark dry, self-deprecation but I don’t think they appreciated my dark sense of humour, so most of my best jokes got cut.
You’re the first UK queen to appear on the show, which is a pretty big deal. If it was opened up, who else would like to see represent the UK?
Cheddar Gorgeous for her stunning looks or Myra Dubois for her acid tongue.
The judges praised your high fashion runway looks. Did you make them all yourself and how did you find the runway walks?
Yes I made them all myself in a two week period just before flying out to LA. I enjoyed the Gaga episode runway walk but after breaking my rib in the cheerleading challenge, the other three were very painful. But I still looked FABULOUS!
Okay let’s chat about that cheerleading challenge. According to the online rumours, several of the contestants injured themselves and had to go to A & E, is that true?
Well, I can’t speak about rumours, but what I will say is: stay tuned to the show for all the drama and conflama…
Conflict and drama – conflama.
Oh sweet Celine, now I feel like the old one! Anyway, on to THAT lip-sync. I’ll cut straight to the chase; what on earth happened?
It was a disaster! With a broken rib every deep breath hurts and sudden movements are extremely painful so I knew I couldn’t do anything to exert myself. In my condition it was only every going to be mediocre at best, so in a split second I decided not to compete with Trinity but to compete with Tammy Brown for the ‘worst lip-sync ever’, but I still delivered authentic Britney circa 2007, dressed like a slut, dead behind the eyes with terrible lip-syncing.
The other girls were supportive even during that ‘disaster.’ Who did you connect with most?
Alexis and Cynthia, I adore them both.
Who will you stay in touch with?
I’m in touch regularly with the aforementioned queens, as well as Jaymes Mansfield and surprisingly, Eureka. She’s a loud-mouthed pain in the ass but I love her like a pesky little sister.
The fact that you were the oldest contestant kept cropping up, and I wonder if the producers perhaps wanted it to. Was it really an issue?
99% of the time it wasn’t, because on the runway, week after week, I looked better than almost all of them. Even Farrah and Valentina, or as I like to call them, Toddlers in Tiaras. But asking someone with a Saga membership and osteoporosis to do cartwheels and cheerleading stunts is just abuse of the elderly.
If you were asked to do the show again, would you?
Would you do anything differently?
I’d get a note from my mother to skip cheerleading practice.
What was your highlight?
The driving interview with Ru, which we shot on the first day in LA. Thirty minutes alone with Ru driving around Hollywood, and it was so much fun. It was me at my best and most candid. Ru gives great interview and I just wanted to drive off into the sunset with him like Thelma and Louise.
Tell us briefly about your new single ‘The Dame’.
When Ru called me ‘Dame Charlie Hides’ I instantly thought, ‘I’m now a motherfuckin’ dame, that’s a great hook for a song’. Writing music is a whole new way for me to express myself and I’m loving it.
• Charlie Hides is back at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern on May 7th.