Marc Kelly is the alter ego of Kelly Mild, one half of CK, but he’s also the organiser of this weekend’s Lip Sync War. His favourite musical is Oliver! But would lip sync to Diana Ross if he had the chance.
Where are you from originally?
Whitehaven, Cumbria. A small seaside town that time forgot. Throw any northern stereotype and it will stick.
And where do you live now?
Waterloo. Zone One! I live with my landlady Jacquie who I call Cath, as a little nod to Joe Orton’s Entertaining Mr Sloane and our gorgeous dog Betsy who has her own hashtag #BetsyNo, she’s a celebrity and has no idea.
What do you love about London and why?
I moved here 21 years ago. I escaped from my hometown and was incredibly confused about who I was and what I wanted from life. London allowed me to test drive many different life scenarios. The city has enabled be to grow in to the person I am today and for that I am eternally grateful. I dread to think what my life would have been had I been trapped in Whitehaven.
What was the first gay venue you visited?
It would have been Manto’s, which is now G-A-Y Bar, Easter 2001. I was ‘straight’ and in complete denial. I first met my friend John that night and he has always said it was my eyes that gave it away, checking out every guy that walked by. Allegedly! His work colleague became my first boyfriend, so I guess he wasn’t wrong!
The Lip Sync War starts this weekend, what can we expect at the heats?
The heats are electric. Incredibly fast paced and full of energy. With £2500 at stake the contestants all bring their A game. Last year we got a few risqué surprises and I really hope there’s more of that this year.
If you had to Lip Sync for your life, what song would you pick and why?
I’ve been told I’m terrible lip-syncer, but we all have a song and mine would be The Boss by Diana Ross. I know all the whoops, oooohs and aaaaahs!
Favourite club/bar/venue in London and why?
I miss the Astoria. I had the BEST times there. So sad that we don’t have anything that captures that old magic anymore. I rarely go out these days but if I do it’s after work so I can usually be found propping up the bar at Halfway, Brewers or George and Dragon, three completely different venues that I am so pleased we still have thriving on the scene.
What was the last theatre show you saw, where, and what did you think of it?
Dick! The Palladium Panto. I thought Cinderella was hard to beat, but it was another triumph. Cath and I were howling with laughter all the way through. British theatre at its best
What is your guilty pleasure and why?
Reality TV. I watch everything from Love Island to Coach trip, Real Housewives of anywhere to the Kardashians. Big Brother, Bake Off, BGT, Strictly, X Factor, The Voice, Bargain Loving Brits Abroad, Border Control, Can’t Pay? We’ll Take it Away……ALL OF THEM!
Holidays. I love the sunshine and go away as often as I can. Also I always treat myself to first class travel when I visit my Nana. Virgin Trains free booze prepares me for a week in Whitehaven.
Best gift you’ve ever received and why?
Oliver! Is my favourite musical. My good friends John and Keith got me signed pictures of Ron Moody and Shani Walis as Fagin and Nancy. I treasure these along with a still from the movie from Cath.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and why?
There are so many to choose from. Working with Crystal for so many years has created the most amazing friendship. There are things that we’ve shared over the last 10 years that only we know and that’s wonderful. I also worked in Gran Canaria for Pride 2010 and 2011. I was hosting on the terrace at Mystique Bar and had the time of my life.
If you could go back in time which year would you choose and why?
I’ve always been fascinated by Studio 54. So I’d go to 70’s New York and experience that dancefloor, dancing for the first time to Donna Summer and Diana Ross.
What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and what made it so good?
We had a house party at Cath’s in the summer of 2014. We have the biggest balcony perfect for BBQ and partying. We had vats of Porn Star Martinis, the best mix of families and friends and an original Sugababe thrown in. People still talk about THAT party. Maybe we can repeat it again this summer.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
My Dad always said “Don’t be a dick head” and I think that is good advice for everyone.
Who is your LGBT+ hero and why?
I would say heroes…. all the people that came before us and battled for the rights that we have now. I know there’s still a long way to go, but without the people that came before I would not have been able to become the person I am today.
Where in the world would you like to visit before you die and why?
I’ve always been a little obsessed with Italy and I still haven’t been. I’ve always wanted to spend a summer there, drifting from town to city soaking up the history, the food and the wine.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
Turbulent times will pass and become nothing more than a memory. Time really does heal everything.