Coronation Street’s Simon Gregson unrecognisable in drag for one-off TV special

Coronation Street actor Simon Gregson promises to be a “larger than life” drag queen when he competes in ITV’s Queens For The Night.

The 48-year-old soap star is among the celebrities undergoing “the ultimate drag makeover” for the one-off TV special airing on November 5.

Chat show host Lorraine Kelly will host while the judging panel features Melanie C of the Spice Girls, comedian Rob Beckett, Australian drag artist Courtney Act and West End star Layton Williams.

The show will end with a cabaret-style performance, voted on by the studio audience, as they showcase their newly acquired skills, including singing, dancing, lip-syncing, impression and comedy.

Mr Motivator
Mr Motivator as Proteina Turner on ITV’s Queens For The Night (Tuesday’s Child/ITV/PA)

Gregson, who will star as Bidet Bardot, said: “I think I’ll be a larger-than-life drag queen, very loud. I think that fits in with me quite well.

“It’s very, very nerve wracking. First time on stage, first time I’m going to be doing what I’m going to be doing.

“The nerves are riding high. It’s a new territory for me, so we will see how I get on.”

The programme will see each famous name paired with drag mentors – including Blu Hydrangea, Kitty Scott-Claus and Asttina Mandella – as they prepare their alter egos before competing on stage.

TV fitness instructor Mr Motivator, whose drag alter ego is named Proteina Turner, said he is “richer for the experience”.

He added: “You know what, I’m having the time of my life. When you step out of your comfort zone and you do something you’ve never done and to have the support of Asttina who is great.

Chris Hughes
Chris Hughes (Ian West/PA)

“It’s just wonderful especially at my wonderful age of nearly 70.”

Former EastEnders star Adam Woodyatt said he wanted to appear on the show to “push” himself but “who knows” what could happen on the night.

He said: “I want to try different roles, I want to try and push myself, stretch myself and I think I’m going to have that challenge when I attempt to become a drag queen.

“I did a little bit of drag for Children In Need years and years ago, but nothing like this.”

Love Island’s Chris Hughes said he was competing to help break down stigma attached to masculinity.

“I want to be a drag queen because in this world there’s so much toxic masculinity issues, it’s stigmatised,” he said.

Lorraine Kelly
Lorraine Kelly will host Queens For The Night (Ian West/PA)

“I’m a very emotional person, I cry on camera all the time whenever discussing emotional things.

“I’m a man and we should be able to cry. It’s great to be able to break that stigma down and people should be able to be themselves.

“If you want to cry, if you want to wear heels, if you want to wear makeup, it doesn’t matter who you are, you should be able to do your thing.”

Union J singer George Shelley and England rugby player Joe Marler will also compete.

Shelley said: “The drag community is absolutely beautiful. It’s colourful, it’s everything that I want from life.  For the first time I’m being part of that.

“I’m able to celebrate being gay and I’m able to celebrate being feminine and being all the parts of myself that I’ve had to keep inside a box for so long.”