Me, Myself and I: Charlie Hides

Charlie’s career has been a whirlwind of events, with a Royal Television Society Award under his belt, as well as a stint on RuPaul’s Drag Race. He has a love for Cher’s Twitter and wishes he’d have made some BitCoin dollar.

Where are you from originally?

I was lucky enough to be born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, one of the most liberal and open-minded cities in the United States.  Massachusetts was the first state to legalise equal marriage and threw the best Tea Parties.

And where do you live now? 

For the past 20 or so years, I’ve been living in North London with my husband James; we currently share our home with Colin, our preternaturally adorable French Bulldog.

What do you love about London and why?

This extraordinary city is vibrant and ever-changing while simultaneously timeless. The creativity, boundless energy and humour of Londoners are among their many fine qualities. I love its rich history and forward-looking nature.

What was the first gay venue you visited?

The 1270 (Boylston Street) in Boston when I was about 16.  There was no doorman till 10:00pm so I’d go in early and try to stay upstairs at the roof deck bar, hiding from security. After getting caught and kicked out several times, my friend Chris (also underage)  told me, “They never ask the drag queens for I.D.” so we started going in drag… Horrible, ratchet, androgynous drag.

You are back at The RVT next Sunday, what does the venue mean to you?

The RVT is historic and iconic. It’s a hotbed of creativity and talent and home to some of the best long-running weekly parties and events in the world.  Most importantly the audiences there are incredibly supportive and enthusiastic. I always feel like I’m at my best when I perform on that legendary stage.

What was the last theatre show you saw, where, and what did you think of it?

Last Wednesday night I saw “Everyone’s Talking About Jamie” at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Ave. I loved it. I remember seeing the BBC documentary “Jamie, Drag Queen at 16” and being struck by Jamie’s bravery and how supportive his mom was and is. I was not prepared to cry quite so much at a West End musical but I’m still humming some of the songs and highly recommend the show.

What is your guilty pleasure and why?

Grand Designs, Property Brothers, Homes Under The Hammer… any show which transforms a wreck into something stunning.  Sort of like my nightly make up process.

Biggest extravagance?

The copious amounts of money I spend on Botox, fillers, laser treatments and other surgical interventions I employ to keep gravity and the ravages of time at bay.

Best gift you’ve ever received and why?

On my birthday, July 12 1997 James gave me a gold engagement ring. It is my most prized possession, closely followed by my uncanny gift for saying the wrong thing at the most inopportune time.  It mortifies me but makes James laugh like a hyena.

What is the best pop record ever made?

The Archies, Sugar Sugar is THE best pop record in history and anyone who says otherwise is a soulless cretin!

What has been the highlight of your career so far and why?

Winning a Royal Television Society Award for my comedy special is one of the things I’m most proud of as well as the huge catalogue of comedy videos on my YouTube channel which is the result of many years of creative output.

If you could go back in time which year would you choose and why?

I’d go back to January 2009 and buy Bitcoin when it was first invented and dirt cheap so I could sell it when it peaked at £26,000 per coin.

What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and what made it so good?

In 1998 I attended the Red Party with Holly Woodlawn. At the after party, we spent a couple of hours skinny dipping in a hot tub as she regaled us with stories about Andy Warhol, Grace Jones, Studio 54 etc. I was completely sober but totally high on life.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

In December 1996, I was having lunch with my best friend David. I noticed James at a nearby table and kept staring at him. Despite appearances to the contrary, I’m a bit shy but David encouraged me to give James my phone number. Thanks, David.

Who is your LGBT+ hero and why?

Christine Jorgensen, who was one of the first people to undergo gender reassignment surgery. She said, “We didn’t start the sexual revolution but I think we gave it a good kick in the pants!”

Who are the most entertaining people you follow on social media and why?

DJ Fat Tony on Instagram shares the best memes. Jackie Beat, Cher, and Bette Midler are brilliant on Twitter. They always have their fingers on the pulse with a wicked one-liner or string of emojis.

Where in the world would you like to visit before you die and why?

I’m lucky enough to have toured all around the world including Australia four times but I’ve never been to Hawaii. There’s something that’s impossibly romantic and picture perfect about those islands that is calling to me to run naked around the rim of a volcano.  Like I used to do as a child when I was being chased by pterodactyls.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

To ignore advice from people who aren’t “in the arena.”  The people sitting on the sidelines have nothing valuable to offer. It’s the people who are doing something meaningful that I most admire.

Charlie is featured in the upcoming book Alright Darling? available Oct 15. Catch Charlie performing at Sunday Social this Sunday (Oct 7) at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 372 Kennington Lane, SE11.

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