A builder's life is one big drag...
PUBLISHED: 07:35 25 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:21 24 May 2010
Burly builders pulled on fishnet stockings, zipped up sequinned gowns and applied full make-up to become drag queens for one night only
Burly builders pulled on fishnet stockings, zipped up sequinned gowns and applied full make-up to become drag queens for one night only.The gang from Hutton not only learned to dance, sing and act, but had their legs, arms, faces, chests and backs waxed as part of the transformation for a television show.The builders, led by Mark Orchard, are well-known in the village for their charitable work in Africa. They have built a school, library, medical centre, toilet block and provided mains water and trained medical staff in the Kenyan village of Dabaso.The roofers, bricklayers and plumbers travelled to Blackpool to film the programme, called For One Night Only. Over 10 days they were turned into drag queens by Royal Variety Show performer Betty 'Legs' Diamond. At the end of the programme, they performed in front of 2,500 people at Funny Girls, the top burlesque show bar in the North.Mark said: "Granada contacted us after we appeared on a BBC documentary."It was a novel experience and really hard work but everyone we met through it donated to the cause, which was the whole reason for doing it."The whole project raised over £1,000 in sponsorship and collections for the Kenyan village which is twinned with Hutton.Weston's mayor at the time, Councillor Astra Brand, and her husband accompanied the builders and watched the final show from the audience.Cllr Brand said: "These guys worked so hard and boy were they good."When our 'girls' appeared on stage they looked amazing and we were so proud of them."The show, featuring Mark Orchard, Dave Rayner, Andy Difford, Nick Chubb, James Drinkwater and Lee Scanlon will be screened on ITV1 on June 12 at 9pm.