Home > News & Reviews > RuPauls Drag Race UK

'You're going to be wowed!': Danny Beard Talks Winning RuPaul's Drag Race UK And Series Four Tour

Friday, 02 December 2022 Written by Laura Johnson

“I’m literally sat here in a fur coat, no knickers and a crown. What a better way to sum it up,” Danny Beard says, perched on a chaise longue in a candle-lit room on the other end of a Zoom call. The Liverpool-born, Manchester-based drag queen, also known as Daniel Curtis, was recently crowned the winner of season four of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, and Stereoboard caught up with them following the finale to discuss their time on the show.

Danny took the title after an emotional lip-sync to Shirley Bassey’s This Is My life with fellow Manchester queen Cheddar Gorgeous. It was something they’re not used to, being a live vocalist. “Honestly, the song, it’s just incredible,” they say. “And I’ve never lip-synced, I’m a singer, so I just felt Shirley was coming out of me, and as a singer I was living this fantasy. It’s just like doing drag, believe it or not. It was weird, I was transported to another space.”

Danny Beard is a multi-faceted drag artist. The duality shown not only in their drag, but also their personality, is where their appeal lies. In their eyes, gender is a malleable concept, and being unapologetically confident does not negate kindness. On stage, their drag smashes societal expectations by pairing proudly presented facial hair with gobsmacking looks ranging from the hyper-feminine to club kid chic.

“Danny Beard is about mixing genders, I’ve got a beard, but it’s not in your face,” they say. “You get up close and you’re like, ‘oooh there’s a beard’. Drag’s political, it’s a fuck you, innit? It’s, ‘I’m going to do things my own way’, and I just love mixing that softness and femininity with these masculine traits, because who says this has to be for one gender or another. What even is gender? Listen to me, I sound like Cheddar. I’ve been with Cheddar too long.”

During their Tic Tac talk with RuPaul and judge Michelle Visage, Danny spoke candidly about being bullied in their formative years, and mentioned an awful incident of being attacked by someone who had a makeshift knuckle duster made of pins. It resulted in their family moving them to a different school, where they embraced a clean slate and their queerness. 

“I wasn’t confident growing up. I went through shit, and a lot of queer people are going through it now, or went through it,” they explain. “I think it does make us stronger people, it makes us a lot more interesting people, and I’m not afraid to get emotional or cry. 

“I hate when people say, “I’ll say it how it is, me”, but I’m not afraid to say, ‘Actually, you really upset me there’, or ‘Actually Jonbers, I do think it was you that should have gone home’. I’m going to tell you, because I want that same level of honesty and respect back. You get what you put out in the world, right?”

So, did the win give Danny Beard any validation, or at the very least a confidence boost? “In some respects I didn’t need it,” they admit. “I’m a cocky C-U-N-T, and I think you need to be if you’re a drag queen, it is a vulnerable position. My job is to stand in front of hundreds of people and make them have a good time.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK is not Danny’s first foray into television, though. You may recognise them from Britain's Got Talent and Karaoke Club: Drag Edition, which stood them in good stead for what was to come. “RuPaul said it herself years ago, “Never turn down the opportunity to be on television.” Every job you do is a learning job. I think that’s why you’ve seen me and Cheddar end up in that top two position, because I’ve done the job for 10 years, Cheddar’s done it for 250 million years,” they shadily admit.

“I remember I filmed a show straight after lockdown, and they allowed us to have a drink,” they add. “I remember being really upset afterwards, thinking, ‘I’m so unprofessional, I’m never going to to work again, I wasn’t in control, I fucked up Drag Race’. 

“It was such a learning curve. I watched it back and I was like, ‘Oh, in the edit I actually look great. It’s a really good show.’ So even that, straight after lockdown, taught me ‘just be you, don’t drink too much, and trust the process.’ And that’s what I really did with Drag Race, I trusted the process. I thought, if I’m me, and I just stick to me, then they can’t make me look like something I’m not.”

Danny Beard’s drag draws inspiration from myriad sources, including Adele, Freddie Mercury, and the club kids of the 1980s, more specifically Australian performance artist Leigh Bowery, whom they fondly remember as their “gateway drug to drag.” They came across them while researching for a Contemporary Theatre Practice degree in Manchester, “which sounds exactly as arty farty as it is.”

“I ended up down a rabbit hole of the club kids of the ‘80s and the Blitz Kids, and Leigh Bowery,” they say. “And I just became obsessed with Leigh Bowery’s life, his stories, his costumes and his attitude. I found loads of old tapes of him talking, and you know…the facekini, he had all these iconic looks. Which is why my Blobby was my homage to him. It was a complete Leigh Bowery meets Mr Blobby look. 

“I knew with the brief ‘100 Years Of The BBC’, I thought that’s got to be episode one, so I thought I’m going to start the show with my main drag inspiration. So, this is my inspiration, but I’ll take you on a journey, and now this is me. And without sounding like a university student, there isn’t an original idea. Everything’s been done, but it’s how you take someone from here to here, and make this. 

"I just love him, I’m obsessed. I love when I meet people that knew him, like Dusty O, this old drag queen — she’ll kill me for saying that— from London. I remember she said, ‘Oh, he was horrible’. I said, ‘Don’t tell me, don’t tell me’. I just love hearing stories about him, I think he was an amazing artist and I think had he not passed away due to HIV-related illness that he’d be the RuPaul of the UK.” 

With such an eclectic cast this season, Danny Beard also reveals they found new inspiration from their fellow competitors: “I’m a queen that for the last maybe eight or nine years has gone to different venues, on my own, turned up, done my show, and left. So you end up just doing your thing and you don’t get to see other people.

“Working alongside Cheddar pushed me. I thought, ‘She’s got it in the bag, it’s Cheddar Gorgeous!’. It pushed me hard. Then seeing people like Black Peppa, who can dance like that, I was like, I need to at least move in time! I’ve done pantomimes where they’ve given us choreo, and I’ve gone, ‘Yeah, shall we change this to a two-step.’ Not pushed myself. 

“Being in that environment with such a talented cast, even Starlet, I know she went week two, but she’s one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen. She looks airbrushed. I thought, I need to buck up my make-up, and from episode one to last night’s show, I looked at myself and I was like, ‘Oh god, you look beautiful’.”

Some may argue that RuPaul’s Drag Race UK could be the peak of a drag queen’s career, but Danny Beard is only just getting started. “Honey, I’m going global,” they declare. “I’ve got a track out, it’s a cover of Gypsy Woman from the ‘90s. Stream it now on Spotify, it’s incredible! My podcast, The Gossip Gays, is going from strength to strength, we’ve just been signed with a production company and we record every week live from Media City. 

“I’ve got brand new management and we’re talking TV. Honestly, all the things I always dreamed of are happening because of Drag Race. It’s a dream-making machine, and really, the hard work’s only just started. I am ready to work.”

And work they will, when they hit the road next spring for the Series Four Tour of the UK with their season sisters. Incapable of being objective due to their love of their fellow cast members, Danny gushes about the upcoming shows: “Listen, I’m biased, but I think it’s been the best season of RuPaul’s Drag Race we’ve had. I think all these amazing people that you know off this show are going to give you the best show of your life. The budget’s there, the Americans are overdoing it, you know the Americans flash the cash. 

“It’s going to be the best night out, and you’re going to get to see all your favourites up close and personal. And when I say some of these girls are performers, I’ve seen them in the club, so to translate this to the Royal Albert Hall, and arenas, is going to be massive. You can’t miss it.”

The big question: will we be treated to the full Danny Beard experience with live vocals, or will they be lip-syncing? “I am going to be singing live,” they confirm. “You’re going to be wowed! I’m going to have to go on vocal rest, darling.”

RuPaul's Drag Race UK Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri April 14 2023 - PLYMOUTH Pavilions
Sat April 15 2023 - BRIGHTON Dome
Sun April 16 2023 - SOUTHAMPTON Mayflower Theatre
Tue April 18 2023 - BIRMINGHAM Symphony Hall
Wed April 19 2023 - MANCHESTER Opera House
Fri April 21 2023 - GLASGOW Kings Theatre
Sat April 22 2023 - STOCKTON Stockton Globe
Sun April 23 2023 - SHEFFIELD City Hall
Mon April 24 2023 - LIVERPOOL Empire
Thu April 27 2023 - NOTTINGHAM Royal Concert Hall
Fri April 28 2023 - LONDON Royal Albert Hall
Sat April 29 2023 - SOUTHEND Cliffs Pavilion
Sun April 30 2023 - CARDIFF CIA
Mon May 01 2023 - SWANSEA Arena
Wed May 03 2023 - IPSWICH Regent Theatre
Thu May 04 2023 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE O2 City Hall
Sat May 06 2023 - LEEDS first direct Arena
Sun May 07 2023 - BRISTOL Hippodrome

Compare & Buy RuPauls Drag Race UK Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR

We don't run any advertising! Our editorial content is solely funded by lovely people like yourself using Stereoboard's listings when buying tickets for live events. To keep supporting us, next time you're looking for concert, festival, sport or theatre tickets, please search for "Stereoboard". It costs you nothing, you may find a better price than the usual outlets, and save yourself from waiting in an endless queue on Friday mornings as we list ALL available sellers!


Let Us Know Your Thoughts




Related News

Mon 31 Oct 2022
RuPaul's Drag Race UK's Season Four Queens To Tour UK In Spring 2023
Thu 06 Oct 2022
The Next World: Krystal Versace Talks New Solo Show, RuPaul's Drag Race UK And Tour Life
Thu 22 Sep 2022
RuPaul's Drag Race UK Winner Krystal Versace To Open London Dates Of Series 3 Tour With New Show
 
< Prev   Next >