COURT­NEY ACT

Attitude - - Front Page -

Our Hero doesn’t need a cape, she’s happy with heels, a fab wig and a tidy tuck

For all the fl aws of re­al­ity TV and the way it has seem­ingly per­me­ated every cor­ner of our cul­ture, every now and then some­one comes along — be­tween the fame- hun­gry, fl ash- in- the- pan wannabes — with gen­uine star quality and some­thing to off er that speaks to an au­di­ence and fur­thers the con­ver­sa­tion.

At the start of this year, when the UK was be­ing buff eted by re­lent­less cold fronts and the Jan­uary blues were never more than a sigh away, the 21st se­ries of Celebrity Big Brother proved a wel­come dis­trac­tion and, as the month­long show con­tin­ued, a sure- fire way to warm our hearts.

Af­ter four weeks in the house, the fi­nal vote was be­tween Shane Janek, the pan­sex­ual Aus­tralian per­former best known for his drag al­ter ego Court­ney Act, and re­gres­sive right- wing for­mer politi­cian Ann Wid­de­combe. A more po­lar pair would be diff icult to fi nd.

Thank­fully, the vot­ing au­di­ence ul­ti­mately gave the crown to Shane ( we like to think that At­ti­tude’s sus­tained so­cial me­dia cam­paign helped a lit­tle), who had used his plat­form on the show to have thought­ful and nu­anced dis­cus­sions about sex­u­al­ity and gen­der iden­tity, in­tro­duc­ing view­ers and fel­low house­mates to con­cepts such as the gen­der spec­trum and the Kin­sey Scale.

Of course, Court­ney was fa­mil­iar to many LGBT+ view­ers from her star turn on sea­son six of RU­PAUL’s Drag Race in 2014, where she fin­ished as run­ner- up in one of the strong­est top threes in the show’s hers­tory ( Bianca Del

Rio won, with Adore De­lano com­plet­ing the trio). But in that show, per­haps due to edit­ing or other­wise, Court­ney some­times came across as slightly spiky and ruth­less.

How­ever, in CBB,, she wasn’t re­duced to sound­bites, and we got to see a more rounded char­ac­ter, full of hu­mil­ity, in­tel­lect and hon­esty. Her fl irty friend­ship with Ap­pren­tice star Andrew Brady chal­lenged per­cep­tions of sex­u­al­ity and mas­culin­ity, and her win over Wid­de­combe was a vic­tory for love and ac­cep­tance, a “val­i­da­tion that it’s OK to be diff er­ent”, as Court­ney said af­ter­wards.

Since the show, Court­ney has toured the world with her solo show, Un­der The Cov­ers, and set up home in Lon­don. She’s set to re­turn to TV screens as the host of E!’ s The Bi Life, a new bi­sex­ual dat­ing show — the fi rst of its kind on Bri­tish tele­vi­sion — which starts on 25 Oc­to­ber.

Funny, frank and fab­u­lous: Court­ney Act is a per­fect re­minder that not all heroes wear capes — some wear tuck­ing panties, wigs and six- inch heels.

S UPPORTED B YWords Tim Heap Pho­tog­ra­phy Leigh Keily Styling Frank Stra­chan“S OME HE ROES DON’ T W E A R C A P E SB UT W I GS A NDS I X- I NCH HE E L S ” Court­ney wears dress, by Miss­guided, feather jacket, by Nikita Karizma, shoes, by River Is­land, ear­rings, by H& MNOVEMBER 2018

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