BETTE RINSE INTERVIEW: Christmas in Bettelehem

Bette Rinse
Bette Rinse with Jason Reid

Jason Reid chats to London drag legend Bette Rinse

She’s camper than a row of Christmas trees adorned with baubles displaying the matriarchs of Eastenders over the years, and is a dry old bird who loves nothing more than a rigorous, elbow-deep stuffing once a year.

Yes, of course I’m taking about my dear old friend, Bette Rinse. Ahead of her Christmas extravaganza at Halfway to Heaven we talked all things Xmas…

Hey Bette! How’s life treating you?  

Hi Jason, my little cherub. Life has been good. I am living the dream… the lottery win has helped. But please keep it to yourselves. 

I know you love Christmas. When do you start planning and what does that planning entail? 

Yes I love Christmas and I wish it could to Christmas every day. l start planning as soon as the sales start in January and buy as much as my drawers can take. I love a bargain and if it’s out of date by the time I give it as a gift I tell them it’s vintage. The decs are up, me draws are down, and I am happy. 

What do you love most about Christmas? 

Everything, dear! I love giving but not to fond of receiving as it’s becoming a bit painful. I stock up on hundreds of batteries and make sure I’ve got plenty of goose fat. 

Tell us about Christmas Day in the Rinse household…

Christmas Day in the Rinse household reminds me of when I was young and gorgeous and went to parties with all the celebs. We called it an open-house party so I’ve adapted it to my personality now and call it an open-legs party with all the trimmings. Everyone’s invited to pop in and out and help me with the stuffing.

Your annual Christmas bash is coming up at Halfway to Heaven. What can we expect? 

The upcoming show at Halfway is our Christmas It’s a Knockout Past and Present show. It kicks off my welcome back world tour starting in January at Halfway to Heaven. It’s going to be an amazing show. Acts include this year’s winner, a young queen from Australia called passion Passionella; Greek queen goddess, Talia; the amazing talents of Hashtag Joe; the funniest lady who I discovered, Mary Mac… whoops I meant to say the one and only Chamonix Aspen; the loveable Dorset tart Stephanie Von Clitz; the Scottish genius Flora Tubb; the Twelve Days of Christmas with Miranda Jane and the stunning vocals of Jessica Colita. And not forgetting meeeee. It’s going to be a fantastic Christmas party. With little John on the decs and stage managing.

What’s your favourite Christmas tipple? 

Anything I can swallow that goes down my throat with ease, dear. But if you’re buying, it’s a vodka and Diet Coke, and unopened bottles of champagne for the Christmas presents the following year.

Fave Christmas movie? 

It has to be the one and only It’s a Wonderful Life – because my life affects everybody. Imagine life without Bette Rinse? It doesn’t bear thinking about, dear! 

Fave Christmas song? 

My favourite Christmas song is: It’s the Most Wonderful Time Of the Year. All the acts will be doing at least one Christmas number at my bash, so there’s bound to be favourites  along the way. 

Fave Christmas food? 

I do love a nice pig in a blanket. And a well stuffed bird. But I’m also very partial to a bit of chicken – if you know what I mean. Also, afters is a must! 

Fave christmas memory?  

Unfortunately it hasn’t happened yet, I’m still waiting for it. Or if it did happen I was off my head or asleep. So I am hoping this year will provide the fondest memories of all time.

What’s your Christmas message to your fans and people around the world? 

Be happy, be lucky, be kind, be good, be nice, be yourself, and be gorgeous. And most importantly, fuck ‘em all. Love bette xx

Bette Rinse’s Christmas Special is on Tuesday 17th December at Halfway to Heaven, 7 Duncannon Street, London WC2N 4JF.