Julian Clary: “The Benedictine monks didn’t really prepare me for the life I lived” | Julien Claire


Bn Surrey, 63-year-old Julian Clary began performing on the cabaret circuit as the Joan Collins Fan Club and in 1989 was given his own Channel 4 show, Sticky Moments. He continued to tour the world with his one-man shows, and his West End roles include Leigh Bowery in Boy George’s Taboo and Emcee in Cabaret. Clary’s books include three novels, the children’s series The Bolds, and a memoir, The Lick of Love, which has just been released in paperback. He lives in London with her husband.

When were you the happiest?
Sydney Mardi Gras, 1993.

What is your biggest fear?
Running out of Molecule cologne.

Which living person do you most admire, and why?
Lady Joan Collins. She insists on being happy no matter what, and although she is conservative, she is a very caring person.

What trait do you most deplore about yourself?
My cold indifference towards abandoned friends.

What is your most valuable asset?
A drawing by Sylvia Plath, a gift from my mother.

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Describe yourself in three words
Comedian with soft wrists.

What would be your superpower?
Kitchen. Everything I try is inedible. Even fish sticks go horribly wrong.

What makes you unhappy?
Transphobia on social networks.

If you could bring something dead back to life, what would it be?
Muriel Spark. If she could come back and write another book or two, the world would be a better place.

Who would play you in the movie of your life?
Rebecca Vardy.

What is your most unpleasant habit?
Making offhand remarks when someone is trying to be serious.

What scares you about getting old?
Oblivion. Since I had the coronavirus in February, I don’t remember much. As far as I remember, I’m gay, but I can’t even be sure.

Would you choose fame or anonymity?
Notoriety. You get tables in restaurants and strangers give you compliments.

Who would you most like to say sorry to, and why?
I’ve made some terrible remarks about people over the years in the interest of light entertainment, and I regret them all.

Who or who is the greatest love of your life?
Opium. I tried it at a party in the 80s and knew then that I could never go back to it or all would be lost. But if I’m ever terminally ill or the Russians come close, I’ll look for the nearest dealer.

What was the best kiss of your life?
Security guard at CC Blooms in Edinburgh in 1992.

What words or phrases do you overuse the most?
“Have you finished?”

If you could change your past, what would you change?
My education. The Benedictine monks didn’t really prepare me for the life I lived.

If not yourself, who would you most like to be?
Someone northern and rustic. Living off the land with a rosy-cheeked wife and lots of wild children.

How often do you have sex?
Because I’m gay, I demand full penetration with a member of the armed forces every 20 minutes.

What is the closest death you have experienced?
A concert in Chatham.

What one thing would improve the quality of your life?
Jamie Dornan.


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