Drag queen Miss Demeanour has revealed the first thoughts she had after learning she would be transforming into Eurovision host Hannah Waddingham for a special performance during the contest.
The entertainer, real name Regan Shepherd, stormed the stage in Liverpool during the second semi-final on Thursday with fellow drag acts Tomara Thomas (Tom Adams) and Mercedes Bends (Will Peaco).
While Miss Demeanour was tasked with impersonating actress Hannah, 48, Mercedes and Tomara dressed as Hannah’s fellow hosts Alesha Dixon and Julia Sanana respectively.
And Demeanour said the first thing to spring to mind when preparing for the transformation was to give Hannah a noticeable bust.
She exclusively told MailOnline: ‘My first thought was: “I need to put a pair of tits on because Hannah Waddingham is gonna have an aggressive cleavage at Eurovision!” What a woman!
Impersonation: Drag queen Miss Demeanour was determined to give Hannah Waddingham an ‘aggressive cleavage’ transforming into Eurovision host during Thursday’s semi-final (Miss Demeanour, left, and Hannah, right, seen on stage)
Creating the look: Miss Demeanour, real name Regan Shepherd, said the first thing to spring to mind when preparing for the transformation was to give Hannah a noticeable bust
Born to perform: The entertainer stormed the stage in Liverpool during the second semi-final with fellow drag acts Tomara Thomas (Tom Adams left) and Mercedes Bends (Will Peaco, right)
‘Then I thought I have to really smile. She’s so expressive with her face so I knew I had to match that strong theatrical energy she has.
‘It’s not that far from what I do anyway. Plus, you are their alter ego but we were told by our choreographer, “We want you to be who you are at the heart of your performance. Don’t emulate, represent”.’
And Miss Demeanour said she was instantly recognised when Hannah set eyes on her, with a mischievous grin appearing on both of their faces.
She said: ‘She hadn’t seen me, we hadn’t met. I was in full costume, we stopped and stared at each other, and then just began grinning at each other. I think she was a bit stunned at first, but she really loved it!
‘I told her, “Darling I’m absolutely honoured to be taking this role,” and she was so wonderful, so helpful, so inspiring.
‘She encouraged me to play around with my performance, and talk more to the audience – she was just so generous in that respect. She’s a calm loving person.
‘She was amazing on stage. She wanted to credit us each individually. She made sure she named us and bigged us up.
‘She’s a full champion for the LGBTQ+ community, she wanted it all for us – she’s amazing.’
Standing out: Miss Demeanour told MailOnline: ‘My first thought was: “I need to put a pair of tits on because Hannah Waddingham is gonna have an aggressive cleavage at Eurovision!”’
Making music: The three drag queens were joined by a cast of eclectic dancers as they performed a medley of pop songs
The three drag queens were joined by a cast of eclectic dancers as they performed a medley of pop songs including Jessie Ware’s Free Yourself and En Vogue’s Free Your Mind during the second semi-final in Liverpool on Thursday.
They each wore vamped up versions of the outfits Hannah, Alesha and Julia wore for the event.
Ted Lasso star Hannah put on a leggy display in a busty strapless yellow minidress which showcased her hourglass figure while former Mis-Teeq singer Alesha looked incredible in a strapless black corset dress which featured sheer mesh panelling and a dramatic train.
Julia, meanwhile, caught the eye in a blue metallic jumpsuit with puffy sleeves and stitching down the legs.
Miss Demeanour said she Mercedes and Tomara were given just a few weeks to prepare after they were invited to perform at Eurovision.
She explained: ‘The gig came about because we were hand picked by Jason Gilkison who is the choreographer of Strictly.
Here come the girls: (L-R) Alesha, Julia and Hannah brought the glamour to Liverpool on Thursday night for round two of the Eurovision 2023 semi-finals
‘It really was not long ago at all – about five or six weeks ago, but luckily the three of us do work together in cabaret clubs and bars and stuff.
‘We did rehearsals in London at Oti Mabuse’s dance studio. We had a platform to practice how to fall – that was scary. It was intense days trying to figure it out.
‘We also had to go into the recording studio to pre record it – we lip synced because we’re drag queens, darling!’
And on performing at the 11,000-capacity M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool and in front of a huge television audience, Miss Demeanour added: ‘The crowd reaction in the arena was so unbearably incredible. It was overwhelming. I had to remove myself from it a bit mentally because I thought, “I’m gonna burst into tears.”
‘It’s every little boys’ dream to be at Eurovision. Not just to be there, but you are the moment. This four and a half minutes is so much bigger than what it is.
Loving it: Eurovision viewers went wild over the drag act that performed in the interval during Thursday night’s semi final
‘As we exited the stage I just burst out crying and I felt like we’d made our point: be who you want to be. It was a massive release.
‘There was pressure but it was fun. It was scary but a good adrenaline rush type of scary – it was fun.
‘We are so lucky that we were the three people who get to deliver this to the world. I am so grateful.’
The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 airs on Saturday 13 May on BBC One at 8pm.