Me, Myself and I: Patti O’Dors

The fabulous Ms O’Dors used to keep slim by dancing to Gala’s Freed From Desire, recently visited New York City’s Stonewall Inn bar, and would love to explore San Francisco and New Orleans.

Where are you from originally?

I entered the world in Dublin but have my Northern roots in Yorkshire, having grown up in Bradford from the age of four.

And where do you live now?

Nowadays I reside mostly in my palatial seaside pad in the village of Rottingdean on the edge of Brighton with my long term (and long-suffering) partner John and our adopted little Yorky, Zero.

Will you be watching and celebrating the royal wedding?

As self-crowned Queen of Rottingdean, I was, naturally, in demand to attend the royal wedding, although this will not be possible due to my hectic schedule. With a little more notice I wouldn’t have had to disappoint Harry and Meghan but c’est la vie.

If you were going to the wedding what would you buy Harry and Meghan as a gift? 

Knowing Meghan’s penchant for Iceland’s prawn rings I had offered to gift the happy couple a nice spread for the reception, including Harry’s favourite cheese and pineapple sticks.

What was the first gay venue you visited?

My initiation to the gay scene was a right muck-hole called Mr B’s in Bradford in the mid 80s, reminiscent of the Blue Oyster bar from Police Academy, complete with leather clad cruisey moustached muscle queens. I felt like a lamb to the slaughter. It became a regular haunt.

Favourite club/bar/venue and why?

My favourite bar was Molly Moggs in Soho – tiny place and a bit of a squeeze when busy, but great old school cabaret and wonderfully unpretentious atmosphere and mixed crowd. I met many of my long-standing friends there. Oh and it’s also where I met my John, but I’ve never held that against it.

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

The last show I saw was at the Brighton Dome theatre – Scott Bradlee’s Post-Modern Jukebox – current songs with a vintage twist, which reminded me of me. Marvellous vocal performances (which didn’t remind me of me) and I felt catapulted to a bygone era of style and sass. Thoroughly enjoyable.

What is your guilty pleasure and why?

Watching the Real Housewives series on TV – especially our own Cheshire lasses. It’s like watching a classier version of my life and I love anything that’s about me.

Biggest extravagance?

My lovely bright pink Rolls Royce, which I’m assured once belonged to Lady Penelope. Looks lovely on the shelf and I’ve still got the box.

Best gift you’ve ever received and why? 

The best gift I’ve received is my glorious life, thanks to mother Mary O’Dors, although she’s tried to take it back several times since.

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

Singing a duet with my fellow Northern lovely, Jane McDonald – our powerful voices melted together in a heart-wrenching performance of The Hand That Leads Me. It’s a shame she didn’t know it – she was on the wireless and I was in me ensuite shower. I know she’d have loved it.

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

1997, when I was 17, and would lose myself with gay abandon on the dancefloor to Gala’s Freed From Desire. It was oh so much easier to stay slim too.

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

I’m invited to so many soirees that it’s hard to choose without offending. There was one that stands out and you might have seen the furore in the news at the time, but I’m under a gagging order. Suffice to say what I don’t know about Rod, Jane and Freddy’s inner sanctum is nobody’s business

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

Be nice to people on your way up, you’ll meet them on your way down. I’ve been down quite a few times so it’s stood me in good stead.

Who is your LGBT+ hero and why?

I wish I could name them specifically but it would be the patrons of the Stonewall Inn in New York that stood up for themselves in 1969 and began the most significant advances for us in the States and across the world. I visited there recently and felt great spirituality and gratitude.

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

I love following Ryan Gosling – it’s refreshing that he just doesn’t take things too seriously and I find his tweets hilarious. For different reasons I can’t help but follow the US President – you just can’t make up the incredulous things he tweets.

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

Hopefully there are a few years left in this old girl that will enable me to take me caravanette to explore America – San Francisco and New Orleans would be highlights. I’ve also heard that Scarborough is nice.

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

True friends can be hard to find; cherish the ones you’ve got while you’ve got them.

Patti O’Dors hosts Sunday Cabaret at The Quebec, 12 Old Quebec Street, Marble Arch, London, W1H 7AF.

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