Kings of Camp

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Julian Clary


Julian Clary
Born on May 25th 1959 in Surbiton, he was raised in nearby Teddington, South West London with his two older sisters. A strong Catholic education by Benedictine monks made him a very religious youngster. He was an altar boy and a choir boy and used to enjoy all things to do with his church until he became aware of his homosexuality. Church then became 'awkward' for him and he would then only attend with his mother, just to please her.

When Julian was thirteen his tall, glamorous, blonde oldest sister, Frances, started out on a career as a Tiller Girl. He was fascinated with her work, her flamboyant costumes, and the way she used make-up, this probably accounting for his own campness in later years, although he had always felt an affinity with the effeminate. Once, when he was five, and to his father's dismay, he had borrowed a doll's dress and put it on his toy tiger.

After studying drama at Goldsmith's College for three years and gaining a degree in Drama and English, he left in 1983. A variety of jobs, including being a railway guard and doing singing telegrams, followed. It was around this time that Julian acquired Fanny the wonderdog. At nineteen he had a girlfriend for a short time, but she left him and he started a relationship with a barman at the Old Vic.

The Joan Collins Fan Club.
Dragged up in a kaftan, with beads and a pink wig, he started on the London comedy circuit as "Gillian Pie-Face". It was not a success with him being constantly heckled and often booed off stage. Losing the drag and dressing in PVC and Rubber he re-invented himself as "The Joan Collins Fan Club". Julian was happily surviving with this act, doing the rounds with just himself, his dog, and his suitcase, when he was 'discovered' one night by some producers in the audience. His debut television appearance was with Channel 4 in "Cabaret at the Jongleurs" in 1988 where he was billed as "The Joan Collins' Fan Club" with Fanny the Wonderdog.

A steady stream of work followed and he became known as Julian Clary having been persuaded to drop the reference to Joan Collins. In 1993 he compéred the British Comedy Awards which was being broadcast live. A sexual joke that he made about the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Norman Lamont, although greeted with enthusiastic laughter and applause by the celebrity audience attending, resulted in gross condemnation of him by the press the following day, some even calling for him to be banned from television even though only twelve viewers had been offended enough to complain out of a viewing audience of more than thirteen million. Julian escaped to tour Australia, not returning until 1995.

Julian soon became more popular than ever with the British public. Acting roles, comedy series, show hosting, advertisements, guest appearances, and pantomime parts, in all far too many to mention here have made him a household name. Could anyone today see or hear him and not know who he was? The modest, vulnerable, but flamboyant, gay, camp, loveable, yet often outrageous - Julian Clary.

Visit: The Julian Clary Website

Julian's faithful companion Fanny, the dog that he rescued from Battersea dogs home years earlier, shot to fame with him in 1988 after she appeared alongside him at his TV debut as The Joan Collin's Fan Club. She was a natural born star and would often be seen alongside Julian at his performances. Extensively featured in Julian's books and with her 'own' production company aptly called "Wonderdog Productions" the very talented Fanny commanded substantial fees for cameo appearances.

Fanny lived to a great age. She was nineteen years old when she passed away peacefully at Julian's parent's home in Swindon, where she had spent her retirement years. Her ashes are kept at Julian's London home. More recently Julian  has had an ill-tempered cat: Gloria, and another dog, a loveable though rather stage-shy black mongrel, called: Valerie. A neighbour of Paul O'Grady, Clary now lives in a seven-bedroom farmhouse, not far from Ashford in Kent. A former owner of the property is said to be Noel Coward.

 

Julian ClaryJulian has had two large format comedy books published: "My Life With Fanny The Wonder Dog" (1989) and "How To Be A Man" (1992). He has also published an autobiography: "A Young Man's Passage" which covers his life up to the Norman Lamont incident. In 2007 he released his first novel: "Murder Most Fab", following it  two years later, in 2009, with another one: "Devil in Disguise". See: http://www.julianclarybooks.com/

 

Julian Clary's complete credits for film, television, radio, and writing etc are now far too vast (well over 100) to reproduce here.

See: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0165138/

 

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If you need to relieve your bladder, I suggest you do it before reading this sample of Julian's book. Brilliant!

 

 

 

Julian Clary's infamous joke at the 1993 British Comedy Awards where he compares
the set to Hampstead Heath and talks about fisting Norman Lamont.

        

 

Our Camp Contenders

Kings of Camp.

JOHN INMAN.     LARRY GRAYSON.     PAUL O'GRADY     JULIAN CLARY.

KENNETH WILLIAMS.     DALE WINTON.     GRAHAM NORTON.     CHARLES HAWTREY.

 

 

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