Michael is the Manager of Village Soho which has just undergone a glamorous makeover. He loves the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Balenciaga and his French Bulldog George.
Where do you live?
I live in Soho with the love of my life, my three year old Frenchie called George.
What do you love about London and why?
I love everything about London. It’s been my home for the last 15 years and even though sometimes it’s a hate–hate relationship, I wouldn’t live anywhere else.
What was the first gay venue you visited?
It was the Duke of Wellington, summer 2003. I don’t remember much to be honest, I had one to many glasses of red wine. Since then I switched to gin – I’m a grown up now.
Can you tell us what the new look Village has had done in the refurb?
The refurbishment has taken us from an aged old queen to the fresh young twink on the scene. Our guests have all remarked on the attention grabbing new Village. In the day we stand out as this monolith of black with a real pop of colour that draws you in the whole length of Old Compton Street. At night we transform into a house of lights and technicolor; our new LED signs lighting us up to the whole of Soho. As an inclusive LGBTQ+ venue, we have made it our duty to create a safe space for all; regardless of their gender identity. Therefore, we have removed all gendered restrictions from our bathrooms, forming a set of neutral cubicles in a larger, more inviting room with a fresh and clean feel to it.
What do you think it is that makes Village different from other bars?
It’s the atmosphere and it’s the mix of customers plus amazing cocktails, our sexy dancers, larger than life DJs and of course my boys and girls that work behind the bar. Although some of them might say I am a little bit of a prick I do love them dearly.
What was the last theatre show you saw, where, and what did you think of it?
I don’t go to the theatre anymore.The last play me and Coral (Coral DeVille from the out of circle) watched was The Wizard of Oz. It was after a few glasses of Champagne as we were told we were too loud and swore too much… We clearly weren’t, because we are the nice ones… obvs.
What is your guilty pleasure and why?
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, it’s my thing, let it go. NEXT!
Best gift you’ve ever received and why?
I am a very difficult person to buy gifts for… so if you do buy me a gift make sure there is a receipt so I can exchange it for something I actually like. I like buying gifts for myself and my ultimate favourite is my boy George. I got him because it was Tuesday and he is the best puppy ever.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and why?
I absolutely love what I do and there have been so many incredible moments. What makes it really special is the people you meet and get to work with. At the Black Cap and Two Brewers I got to work with the crème de la crème of the crème de la femme of the London drag scene. It’s pure magic watching Sandra kissing Alan Gamble on Sunday night at The Brewers or Pam Ann talking about her wet pussy. RuPaul girls were always a laugh and now it’s the larger than life DJs we have at Village, it’s not a Friday night without Lady Lloyd’s jock strap being left behind, Raven dancing on tables or Yvette shaking the basement club walls with the biggest house bangers ever!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Don’t let people with bad eyebrows tell you shit about life.
Who is your LGBT+ hero and why?
Uncle Jimmy – Jimmy Smith from The Two Brewers. He hired me as a bar staff at The Black Cap in 2007 and we worked together ever since. I was his assistant for four years at The Brewers and it was a pleasure to watch him work. The way he gets involved and the way he supports the gay community is extraordinary. Even though I’m not his assistant any more, and have not been for the last three years, he still calls me all the time.
Who are the most entertaining people you follow on social media and why?
Diet Prada (diet_prada) for all the fashion goss and faux pax, Sainthoax for everything unappropriated and best_of_grindr for a good old laugh.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
It gets better … and don’t spend all your money at once!
You can find Michael every day of the week at Village Soho, 81 Wardour Street, Soho, W1.