Drags To Riches

Episodes

First
Broadcast
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20150511

2015051120160513 (R4)

The British drag scene has moved from working men's clubs to lucrative mainstream. Kim Normanton meets three very different drag entrepreneurs, and presents an entertaining and moving portrait of a booming industry. She talks to the men behind the wigs and lashes and explores questions about gender identity in modern Britain.

Lee Sanderson, aka 'Peggy Lee', had a market stall in Blackpool but now runs a flourishing drag business with venues across the Canary Islands, which entertained 90,000 tourists last year. He was inspired to join the world of drag when he sneaked into a local pub, aged 13, and saw his first drag queen. "The pub was packed, I saw this man standing on the bar in the spotlight looking all glamorous and the audience adoring him - he was being respected and I thought I'd like some of that kind of attention. And it was the money, to be honest."

Back in the UK, Walt Utz is the founder of the Supreme Fabulettes - four young drag queens who travel the world performing close-harmony singing. One new business opportunity Walt is keen to exploit is gay weddings - but it's not just weddings which bring in the bookings. Vicki of the Fabulettes comments, "Gay weddings are fun, but we performed at four funerals last year. I was dancing round a coffin! Whenever we get invited it's a celebration."

The third entrepreneur, Amy Redmond, is the manager of a new kind of drag business Sink The Pink. She organizes huge drag balls and fills venues with 3,000 drag queens. "To physically look at there's a very strong difference from a traditional camp northern drag queen to a Sink The Pink drag queen. They have beards and a hairy leg sticking through the fishnet."

Producers: Elizabeth Burke and Kim Normanton

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

2015051120160513 (R4)

The British drag scene has moved from working men's clubs to lucrative mainstream. Kim Normanton meets three very different drag entrepreneurs, and presents an entertaining and moving portrait of a booming industry. She talks to the men behind the wigs and lashes and explores questions about gender identity in modern Britain.

Lee Sanderson, aka 'Peggy Lee', had a market stall in Blackpool but now runs a flourishing drag business with venues across the Canary Islands, which entertained 90,000 tourists last year. He was inspired to join the world of drag when he sneaked into a local pub, aged 13, and saw his first drag queen. "The pub was packed, I saw this man standing on the bar in the spotlight looking all glamorous and the audience adoring him - he was being respected and I thought I'd like some of that kind of attention. And it was the money, to be honest."

Back in the UK, Walt Utz is the founder of the Supreme Fabulettes - four young drag queens who travel the world performing close-harmony singing. One new business opportunity Walt is keen to exploit is gay weddings - but it's not just weddings which bring in the bookings. Vicki of the Fabulettes comments, "Gay weddings are fun, but we performed at four funerals last year. I was dancing round a coffin! Whenever we get invited it's a celebration."

The third entrepreneur, Amy Redmond, is the manager of a new kind of drag business Sink The Pink. She organizes huge drag balls and fills venues with 3,000 drag queens. "To physically look at there's a very strong difference from a traditional camp northern drag queen to a Sink The Pink drag queen. They have beards and a hairy leg sticking through the fishnet."

Producers: Elizabeth Burke and Kim Normanton

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

The British drag scene has moved from working men's clubs to lucrative mainstream. Kim Normanton meets three very different drag entrepreneurs, and presents an entertaining and moving portrait of a booming industry. She talks to the men behind the wigs and lashes and explores questions about gender identity in modern Britain.

Lee Sanderson, aka 'Peggy Lee', had a market stall in Blackpool but now runs a flourishing drag business with venues across the Canary Islands, which entertained 90,000 tourists last year. He was inspired to join the world of drag when he sneaked into a local pub, aged 13, and saw his first drag queen. "The pub was packed, I saw this man standing on the bar in the spotlight looking all glamorous and the audience adoring him - he was being respected and I thought I'd like some of that kind of attention. And it was the money, to be honest."

Back in the UK, Walt Utz is the founder of the Supreme Fabulettes - four young drag queens who travel the world performing close-harmony singing. One new business opportunity Walt is keen to exploit is gay weddings - but it's not just weddings which bring in the bookings. Vicki of the Fabulettes comments, "Gay weddings are fun, but we performed at four funerals last year. I was dancing round a coffin! Whenever we get invited it's a celebration."

The third entrepreneur, Amy Redmond, is the manager of a new kind of drag business Sink The Pink. She organizes huge drag balls and fills venues with 3,000 drag queens. "To physically look at there's a very strong difference from a traditional camp northern drag queen to a Sink The Pink drag queen. They have beards and a hairy leg sticking through the fishnet."

Producers: Elizabeth Burke and Kim Normanton

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

20150511

The British drag scene has moved from working men's clubs to lucrative mainstream. Kim Normanton meets three very different drag entrepreneurs, and presents an entertaining and moving portrait of a booming industry. She talks to the men behind the wigs and lashes and explores questions about gender identity in modern Britain.

Lee Sanderson, aka 'Peggy Lee', had a market stall in Blackpool but now runs a flourishing drag business with venues across the Canary Islands, which entertained 90,000 tourists last year. He was inspired to join the world of drag when he sneaked into a local pub, aged 13, and saw his first drag queen. "The pub was packed, I saw this man standing on the bar in the spotlight looking all glamorous and the audience adoring him - he was being respected and I thought I'd like some of that kind of attention. And it was the money, to be honest."

Back in the UK, Walt Utz is the founder of the Supreme Fabulettes - four young drag queens who travel the world performing close-harmony singing. One new business opportunity Walt is keen to exploit is gay weddings - but it's not just weddings which bring in the bookings. Vicki of the Fabulettes comments, "Gay weddings are fun, but we performed at four funerals last year. I was dancing round a coffin! Whenever we get invited it's a celebration."

The third entrepreneur, Amy Redmond, is the manager of a new kind of drag business Sink The Pink. She organizes huge drag balls and fills venues with 3,000 drag queens. "To physically look at there's a very strong difference from a traditional camp northern drag queen to a Sink The Pink drag queen. They have beards and a hairy leg sticking through the fishnet."

Producers: Elizabeth Burke and Kim Normanton

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.