Julian Clary was born on the 25th of May 1959 in Surbiton, Surrey, to parents Brenda and Peter Clary – a younger brother for his two sisters Frances and Beverley.
He was brought up in Teddington, South West London. Julian says: “My family don’t live there any more, but every time I go to Teddington Studio’s I drive past our old house. I reminisce about riding my bike through Bushey Park and playing with my little guinea pigs.”
As a teenager, Julian was influenced by his eldest sister Frances. She was just starting her career as a Tiller Girl and Julian was fascinated with the illusion created by her heavy make-up…
He went on to study drama at Goldsmith’s College, leaving in 1983 with a degree in Drama and English. After a brief stint working as a singing telegram – around which time he acquired his beloved Fanny the Wonderdog, he appeared on the cabaret circuit, calling himself ‘Gillian Pie-Face’.
The drag act was not an instant success and Julian was heckled relentlessly, but he fought back with such quips as “Who cuts your hair for you? Is it the council?” Julian soon dropped the Gillian Pie-Face alter-ego and re-invented himself as ‘The Joan Collins Fan Club’ ditching the wig and kaftans in favour of PVC and rubber.
He remembers his day’s on the comedy circuit with great nostalgia: “I had my suitcase and my dog and it was all so self-sufficient, I loved it. It was not leading to anything else, it was not like – one day I’ll be on television” , but it just so happened that some TV producers were in the audience at one of his shows, and they invited him to perform on their show ‘Friday Night Live’ and a star was born.
Julian has since gone on to become one of the nation’s most popular performers and, in more recent times, an accomplished writer with a number of best sellers to his credit. Clever boy.
Your favourite virtue?
Your favourite qualities in a man?
I LIKE A MAN TO BE CLEAN, GENEROUS AND HUNG LIKE A DRAUGHT EXCLUDER.
Your favourite qualities in a woman?
I LIKE A WOMAN TO BE CLEAN, GENEROUS AND BEST FRIENDS WITH A MAN WHO IS HUNG LIKE A DAUGHT EXCLUDER.
Your main characteristic?
TENACITY. I NEVER GIVE UP.
What draws you most to your friends?
MY FRIENDS ARE A VARIED MIX, BUT I LIKE SELF SUFFICIENT PEOPLE WHO AREN’T TOO NEEDY.
Given the opportunity what would you most like to change?
BORIS JOHNSON’S HAIR STYLE. ITS RIDICULOUS FOR A MAN OF HIS AGE. DOES HE THINK HE’S A MEMNER OF ONE DIRECTION? IN FACT I’D LIKE TO CHANGE MAYORS – TO KEN LIVINGSTONE PLEASE.
Who would you most like to take out for dinner?
THE ALL BLACKS RUGBY TEAM. OR IF THEY’RE BUSY, ETHAN HAWKE.
Your idea of happiness?
AN ENGLISH COUNTRY GARDEN IN THE SUNSHINE.
What is your favourite way of spending the day?
WALKING THE DOGS, DOING SOME WRITING, WATCHING DEAL OR NO DEAL AND THEN EATING SUSHI WITH MY PARTNER IAN.
Whose life other than yours would you most like to have lived?
NOEL COWARD’S. ALL THAT CREATIVE ENERGY AND SWANNING AROUND THE WORLD DRINKING COCKTAILS. FABULOUS. NOT TO MENTION THE DUKE OF KENT…
Where would you most like to live?
I LOVE LONDON AND KENT, BUT I HAVE A YEARNING FOR NORFOLK SOMETIMES, AND MAYBE A HOLIDAY HOME IN NICARAGUA.
Who is your favourite author?
Who is your favourite poet?
Your favourite heroes in fiction?
I HAVE A WELL THUMBED COPY OF BIGGLES TAKES IT ROUGH, SO I HAVE TO CHOOSE HIM
Your favourite heroines in fiction?
MISS JEAN BRODIE AND THAT WOMAN IN A PORTRAIT OF A LADY
Your favourite painters?
BJ BUILDERS DID A VERY GOOD JOB ON MY BACK PASSAGE
Who is your favourite composer?
What is your favourite Film?
GONE WITH THE WIND
Your favourite food?
Your favourite drink?
GIN AND TONIC
Who do you most admire?
What is your present state of mind?
A LITTLE EXASPERATED, WONDERING IF THIS QUESTIONAIRE WILL EVER END, BUT OTHERWISE BORDERING ON THE SERENE.
For what fault have you most toleration?
NORTHERN ACCENTS. THEY REALLY CAN’T HELP IT, AND AFTER A WHILE YOU ACCLIMATISE AND CAN ACTUALLY HOLD A CONVERSATION, IF YOU’RE PATIENT.
Your favourite motto?
DON’T WORRY. BE HAPPY.