Scarlett Moffatt and squirrel friend Courtney Act make sweet music (or, at least, try to) in new series Celebrity Karaoke Club.
After all, there is no better distraction from the hot mess this country is in right now than watching famous faces murder classic songs.
The pair are joined by the likes of Jess Wright, Melvin Odoom, Tallia Storm and actor Luke Kempner in the ITV2 competition, which starts tonight (Wednesday 23 September) at 10pm.
In a catch-up with Attitude, Scarlett and Courtney spill the beans about why the timing of the show is pitch-perfect, behind-the-scenes goss and their most embarrassing moments.
Scarlett – who hosted the official ‘Drag Race UK’ podcast – also hinted that she might be joining Mama Ru on the panel for series two…
Why did you want to be a part of Celebrity Karaoke Club?
C: Celebrity Karaoke Club is the night out we’ve all been gagging for in quarantine. It was an opportunity to get tarted up, have a few drinks with some really fun people and yell into a microphone for a few hours.
S: Who doesn’t love embracing their inner Liza Minnelli and singing like you’re on stage at Wembley?
Miss Rona has left us all shaken and stirred… why is this the show we need right now?
C: There is so much going on in the world politically that we should be paying attention to, but Celebrity Karaoke Club is the green tea sorbet palette cleanser that will mean when you return to the news cycle, you’ll be refreshed and be able to deal with it more.
S: We aren’t getting many nights out and this is like a night out from home. Staying in, in is the new going out, out. Grab a drink, turn the volume up and sing along!
How did you both get along during filming? What did you bond over?
C: Scarlett is a gay man trapped in a woman’s body and loves drag queens, and I am a drag queen so that made bonding very easy. I’ve worked with some of Scarlett’s friends like Tess Tickle, a drag queen from up North, and she is a delight.
S: I’ve been a ‘Drag Race’ fan since that heavily-filtered first season and Courtney is drag royalty. Never in my rainbow-coloured dreams did I think I’d be the karaoke John Travolta to Courtney’s Olivia Newton John!
Scarlett, where does your love of drag come from?
S: Drag, to me, means so much. It’s a way for introverts to become extroverts, to express yourself, to become more confident. I remember seeing my first-ever drag show when I was 10, and being mesmerised by how beautiful they were and how my tummy hurt from laughing so much when they did their rendition of ‘Feed the Birds’ [from Mary Poppins], throwing slices of bread into the audience. I had the honour of Blu [Hydrangea] from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK teaching me how to do drag make-up and we came up with a couple of names. So, if I was a trashy queen, my name would be Miss Donna Kebab, and if I was a fishy queen – as I’m a lover of the TV show NCIS – it would be Lauren Order.
You also hosted the official podcast for RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. What are the chances of you popping up as a guest judge on series two?
S: Ooh, I don’t want to give away any spoilers…
What are your go-to karaoke songs and why?
C: I’m so bad at karaoke that I don’t even have go-to karaoke songs. I guess ‘Natural Woman’ by Aretha Franklin is one of them… weirdly.
S: Minnie Riperton’s ‘Loving You’ – me and my mam always try and hit the high notes. Or Liza Minnelli’s ‘Cabaret’ because it’s a crowd pleaser.
How much drama was there behind the scenes? Any karaoke divas? Ridiculous rider requests? Spill the tea!
C: There was some karaoke drama, but you’ll have to tune in watch and see what has made the show… There was no ridiculous rider requests because of the pandemic – I had to bring my packed lunch and a water bottle from home!
S: What happens at karaoke club stays at the karaoke club! I will spill a bit of tea for you... there was a romance and lots of flirting going on between two people. However, you will have to watch to find out who.
What were your pre-performance rituals and superstitions?
S: Everywhere I go, I take my Noddy toy with me, you know, the one in the little red and yellow car. I’ve had him since I was three.
What was your favourite behind the scenes moment and why?
C: It was a bit Big Brother-ish as there was a fixed rig of cameras. When we weren’t on karaoke, we were all isolated in our dressing rooms.
S: I was next door to Courtney and it would get me all excited for the show when I heard her do her vocal warm-ups. I’d try to join in, like a duet through the wall, but I just sounded like I was in physical pain. Oh, and the Wagamama’s I’d get in between shows.
Courtney, you’re well known for your impressive vocal chops. Did you feel like the favourite going into the competition?
C: Being a singer is not being good at karaoke. Karaoke is like drag, you deal with what you’ve got and make the most out of it. Singing is more precise, you want to be rehearsed and practiced. I don’t think I was the favourite by any means because I knew that my deep-seated fear of karaoke would come true.
Scarlett, the clip of you singing has done the rounds and you can sing. Is music, or musical theatre something you’d be keen to explore?
S: Oh, my word, thank you! Singing and dancing is a huge passion of mine. I was a ballroom and Latin dancer for 15 years when I was younger. I love being able to create a different persona and express myself in ways I can’t as Scarlett, and musical theatre allows you to do that. I was the fairy godmother in the Cinderella Panto at Sunderland Empire last year, and honestly, it’s the happiest I’ve ever been.
What is the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you on stage?
C: I guess my skirt falling off when I was walking into the Celebrity Big Brother house was pretty embarrassing. Actually, it wasn’t that embarrassing, it’s only embarrassing if you let it. Be embarrassing!
S: During Saturday Night Takeaway, we performed the end of the show ‘show’ with Kylie Minogue and me and Stephen Mulhern were cocktail shakers at the bar. My cocktail shaker flew across the stage, but luckily no one was hurt.
What is your most awkward showbiz moment and why?
S: When I went to the Jonathan Ross Halloween party, which is always amazing. I went as a Day of the Dead character and had bought my shoes from the wonderful Primark. A very famous celebrity, when I was sat down, said, “Oh, Scarlett you still have the price on your shoe…” Only for me to realise I’d be walking around with £4 stickers on my shoes!
Celebrity Karaoke Club starts tonight (Wednesday 23 September) at 10pm on ITV2.