Bianca Del Rio slams Paul O’Grady’s attack on Drag Race: ‘he’s old and bitter’

Lily Savage (Paul O'Grady) L and Bianca Del Rio R

PinkNews Exclusive
Bianca Del Rio has slammed Paul O’Grady and called him “old and bitter” because of his comments about RuPaul’s Drag Race.

In an exclusive interview with PinkNews, the Season 6 winner of Drag Race said that O’Grady was one of many people that are “pissed off about something”.

The comments came as O’Grady, who used to perform as Lily Savage, told Radio 4 Extra’s Gay Britannia series that Drag Race wasn’t drag, but “transvestism”.

He said: “That’s not drag! It’s all about shading and contouring your face now and being like supermodels.”
He continued: “In my day we had the likes of Phil Starr, who was a glorious comedian… we had Marc Fleming, Auntie Flo, Mrs Shufflewick. We had great comedians in drag.

“This new brigade who just parade around going, sashay, shantay – that’s not drag to me.”

“Drag is doing an act. That’s dressing up. That [Drag Race] is transvestism,” O’Grady said.

“Drag is an act, where you get up, you do your act, you get changed and you go home – you don’t parade round the streets doing all this business.”

Responding to the comments, Del Rio, real name Roy Haylock, said: “It may not work for you but there are different departments of drag. There are different types of drag. If that’s his opinion that’s his opinion. I think it comes from a negative place.

“If he had a go on the show and got a couple of Emmy’s or the money I think he’d change his tune,” he quipped.

Paul O'Grady

Paul O’Grady (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)

Del Rio went on to explain that for her, drag is just a job.

“I have no desire to be a woman, I’ve never been called a transvestite. I don’t get excited or aroused by wearing women’s clothing, I’m a clown. I’m a show pony that’s all I do.

“For me, that’s my philosophy on it and I think other people do it for other reasons. And good, if you feel a little feminine side of you that excites you then good do it for you.”

Del Rio added that when it comes to dealing with negative people, she just sticks to her life motto.

“To generalise it like that is kind of silly. He’s bitter. He’ll die eventually – that’s my motto. Whenever anyone says anything really horrible or repulsive about me I sit back and say it’s ok, they’re going to die, one day they’ll die.

“It gets you through it, don’t hate, they’re going to die. If I don’t die first, that’d be the p*sser wouldn’t it.”

Bianca Del Rio 2017

(Photo: Jovanni Jimenez Pedraza)

The star, who is about to launch the Blame it on Bianca Del Rio tour, also told PinkNews about the doors which Drag Race opened for her.

“Television is so powerful and it’s fascinating because through it I’ve got to travel the world and do movies and television specials and stuff.

“It’s opened up the doors and I wouldn’t have had that without that opportunity so I’m forever grateful for it,” he said.

The queen added that while he doesn’t get to watch the show as often while on the road, he’s overwhelmed by how popular it has made the world of drag.

“It’s produced something like 115 drag queens who are out in the world and it’s kind of insane. Those drag queens are now in people’s living rooms and the show keeps getting bigger and bigger.

“Ratings are better than ever and as we said before Ru is now bigger than ever which is great for the LGBTQ community to be out there like that because people get to see us as normal people and realise that drag is not necessarily insanity it’s just our job.

“It’s not our identity, it’s just what we do for a living,” he finished.