Skip to content

“Welcome to the Banksie supremacy! It all starts here,” the aforementioned seven-foot, non-binary drag queen from the North declares to GAY TIMES the morning after her Drag Race UK elimination. While Banksie doesn’t want fans to be upset over her exit, which has been met with a lot of resistance on social media, she jokes (?): “Avenge me!”

Episode five saw the queens sing live and perform in the ‘Pant-Oh She Better Don’t’ Rusical, before stomping down the runway in mirror-inspired ensembles. The pantomime received rave reviews, although DeDeLicious’ turn as ‘Dame Muffin Top’ and Banskie’s villainous performance as ‘Butter Face’ landed them in the bottom two, where they lip-synced to Susan Boyle’s theatrical ballad ‘I Dreamed a Dream’.

Although Banksie boasted a RuPeter Badge and DeDe did not, the latter’s manic display performance booted her out of the competition. “Me and DeDe have shown ourselves to be contenders, so I think people are shocked,” says Banksie. “The amount of love I’m getting now on social media… I’ve had to turn my phone off! It broke last night.”

From her ridiculously brilliant Snatch Game plans to the drama and conflama of Untucked, the future Olivier Award-winning entertainer dives into her five-week run on Drag Race UK. (From her London hotel toilet, we should add.)

Banksie, how are you?

Hello! Welcome to my toilet. It’s great.

You’re actually in a toilet?

I’m not sitting on a toilet, but I am in a bathroom because the lighting is so much better in this hotel room, I don’t know why.

We have to talk about Drag Race, because you were on the show?

Was I?

Yeah. Your exit was iconic, groundbreaking, trailblazing, innovative. I don’t think any other queen has done that, no?

No! It was either gonna be, ‘RuPaul, you’ve made a mistake, I’m not leaving’ or ‘I’ve got to walk the runway one last time.’ I knew my package was without-a-doubt amazing. I had to do it one more time. It’s an amazing experience. I just wanted to feel it again.

Your fashion was… too much this season. I assume you’ll be posting your unseen looks each week?

Of course! I’ve worked with some amazing photographers over the last couple of months to be able to get them at the highest level they can be. Even though I’m not walking the runway on the show, people will still be interested to see what all of us girls do after we get eliminated. I mean, have you seen Alexis’? Alexis’ looks… I would’ve gone home! They’re so amazing that I would’ve panicked, honestly.

Do you think you deserved your bottom two placement this week?

I can see why the judges thought that. It was such a strong Rusical. If I had been doing that role in any other Rusical, I probably could’ve made ‘safe’. But everyone was at the top level, they were splitting hairs. I think me and DeDe did deserve it. Me and DeDe have shown ourselves to be contenders, so I think people are shocked. The amount of love I’m getting now on social media… I’ve had to turn my phone off! It broke last night. I had like 500 messages on Instagram and I couldn’t look at them all. Yeah, people are a bit upset! It’s kind of nice, but also I don’t want people to be upset about me.

@gaytimes @Therealbanksie + #Banksy + #LorraineKelly = the #SnatchGame of our dreams 🎨 #rupaulsdragrace #dragrace #rupaulsdragraceuk #dragraceuk #dragraceuk5 ♬ original sound – GAY TIMES

I put “Banksie” into Twitter this morning and “upset” isn’t a word I’d use. I would say “absolutely fucking fuming”. They’re not happy!

They’re not happy! That means so much to me. At the end of the day, people will want to see more. Welcome to the Banksie supremacy! It all starts here.

How did you react when you found that the lip-sync song was going to be ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ by Susan Boyle?

Do you know what? I’m a ‘park n bark’ girl most of the time, so I love when there’s no need for tricks. I’m not gonna do a flip and a backflip to Susan Boyle. I just want to stand there and look RuPaul dead in the eye and go, ‘This is exactly why I’m going to stay.’ And imagine that song being my elimination song, ‘I Dreamed a Dream’? And it got taken away from me? That’s exactly how it feels. That was my dream and it’s ended: avenge me!

What kind of song would you have defeated DeDe to?

Last week’s lip-sync! I really wanted to do ‘The Only Way Is Up’. That was the one where I was like, ‘I could kill this song.’ You can move, dance and throw so much camp into it. I might be a supermodel, but I’m very silly, a little bit goofy.

We have to discuss the drama of episode four’s Untucked, which I loved. It was television. How did it feel watching that back?

I was sitting in a bar in Bristol, dressed as David Bowie, and I was physically shaking the entire episode up until that point. When you’re in something, it feels so much more heightened in the moment. I was like, ‘Did I throw a glass? Did I punch someone in the face? Have I killed someone on this show? Why am I anxious?’ I ended up going, ‘That was a bit underwhelming.’ We just had a very heated debate. What I took from that was, ‘Well done to me for stepping out.’ That is something I usually do, but was scared to on the show – have a moment for myself. But when I stepped out, I was able to pull myself together, make my brain think what it’s meant to think and then just bash it out. That’s what I think we should do, and that’s a very sisterly thing to do in drag communities. We fight, push each other, maybe say the wrong thing.

We like RuPaul’s Best Friends Race, but we also like when drag queens are shady motherfuckers to each other.

We’ve been very shady this season, haven’t we? It’s been a lot of jabs. I think Tomara’s my top shady girl right now. Her confessionals are like, ‘They’re both shit!’ I love it. It’s so funny. Tomara is one of the funniest people on Earth, and the prettiest, so I wish she was dead. It’s so funny that this season has so many quips and jabs and all that stuff. I don’t know if they’re still gonna have them when I’ve gone, but maybe I was the catalyst for shade this season?

One of my favourite moments is when Vicki tells you that she’s annoyed, to which you immediately hit back: “You’ve annoyed me!”

I was holding onto that for so long. Obviously, they’re having to cut what was 40 minutes into three. The jump cuts were maybe a bit too on the nose! But, I did feel that way. To this day, I still believe that I was thrown under the bus. I’ll tell you why: because if RuPaul asks, ‘Who was the problem person in your team?’ I would’ve gone, ‘If you wanna say me, that’s fine.’ RuPaul never asked who was the worst person, she was just asking how you did. To bring someone else’s name up in that, to me, is avoiding your own fate. I also love them having their little hand-hold going, ‘You’re doing amazing, sweetie.’ That editing? Genius!

On the show, you opened up about your relationship with your trans partner, which was really beautiful and a conversation that isn’t often had on mainstream television. How did viewers respond to that?

I had the most amazing response. It was people who are in trans relationships, people who came out as trans to their partner and had to leave their relationship. I’ve had load of beautiful trans people coming to me and going, ‘This is how my mum understands my love with my partner. This has helped my family grow. This has helped me understand that it’s okay for me to be trans with my partner.’ I’m not trans Mother Theresa, I’m not going to fix all the problems in the world. I’m just speaking on my experience when, actually, trans people should have the opportunity to speak for themselves. Also for Vil/Ol, depending on who you’re talking to, for her to have that moment… She said to me, ‘It’s nice to know you unconditionally love me and you just said it to the world. That’s the best late Valentine’s Day present you could give me.’

That is beautiful.

Yeah. I love trans people. They’re pretty great.

You were one week out from Snatch Game… How did it feel to miss out on the challenge?

I was going to win it. The funny thing is, I was doing a bit of a decline at that point in the show. Although ‘Sausage and mash yea? Dead sexy!’ was a moment, to be honest. I just knew that the next challenge was going to give me that extra boost. I was so prepared for Snatch Game. I’ve done a lot of tapes for Drag Race, all the way since season one. I’ve done a different character every single year and this one I was like, ‘That’s good. That’s the best one. That’s really great.’

C’mon then, tell me, who is it?

So, you know the artist Banksy? I was going to be in a balaclava and riot bra with massive tits, courtesy of DeDelicious. The whole thing was going to be, ‘Which celebrity is pretending to be Banksy?’ Obviously, it had to be Lorraine Kelly. So, it was Banksy in a balaclava with Lorraine Kelly’s voice. Halfway through Snatch Game, we would do a ‘reveal yourself!’ and it was going to be Lorraine. She would then take over the show from Ru and do the entire thing herself, because she’s the queen of presenting in general. Didn’t Lorraine Kelly once say that she is a character herself and that she isn’t real to do with some kind of tax thing? Like, they tried to take more of her earnings and she was like, ‘Oh Lorraine Kelly is a character!’ so she could make more money? Banksy’s not real, Lorraine Kelly’s not real, they’ve never been in the same room at the same time… What if they’re the same person?


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BANKSIE (@therealbanksie)

This is very…


Yeah, but it also explains where Lorraine is half the time because she’s never on her bloody show, which Danny Beard memorably called out earlier this week.

That was so funny. ‘Her kids aren’t even in school!’ Her kids are like 25.

Can you gimme a bit of your Lorraine?

Basically it was a lot of screaming. She would have a spray paint can, spraying Ru in the face with it. Painting on DeDe, whatever. Then she’d just go, ‘Hello Ru, how’s you? I’m definitely not Lorraine Kelly!’ It was gonna be like, Lorraine’s really bad at keeping this secret.

I’m fuming because we’ve missed out on Miss Naomi Carter doing Brenda from Scary Movie and Banksie doing Lorraine Kelly as Banksy.

It’s a multi-layered piece. It’s art. I’m Cheddar Gorgeous’ drag child.

Banksie, what is next for you?

Oh god. I’m just really rolling with it. I want to travel more, see people who’ve supported me. I want to do more fashion and be on the biggest runways in the world. That’s the dream. I also have the dream of being the MC on the West End in Cabaret. I want to be the first drag queen to play that role as a little lanky, androgynous MC. I feel like my redeeming factor is going home on a musical and then doing a massive musical to make up for it.

We’ll get you a Tony. What’s the British equivalent?


We get you an Olivier.

I love her. She’s really nice.

Drag Race UK season five is streaming now on BBC iPlayer. 

You can watch our entire interview with Banksie here or below.