New documentary, Phil T Gorgeous, explores the life and career of Dublin’s most iconic drag king

Producer Heather MacLeod speaks with Phil T Gorgeous about the difficulty in making it as a drag king in a scene dominated by queens.

Drag king Phil T Gorgeous performing for a crowd

A new documentary following one of Ireland’s best known and long-standing drag kings is set to air on Friday, December 20, on RTE Radio 1 Extra. For the programme, Radio Producer Heather MacLeod explores the life and career of Dublin king Phil T Gorgeous, pictured below, from the very first time he made facial hair using a wig to his breakthrough success winning Davina Devine’s competition ‘The Devine Apprentice’. 

In the documentary, Phil discusses the struggle drag kings face on the Drag scene, despite the surge in interest in the art of drag since the cultural phenomenon of RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag kings are often dwarfed by the successes of their drag queen sisters. The programme examines this struggle to make being a drag king a feasible, full-time career through Phil’s own story. 

Producer Heather explained why she was so drawn to Phil T Gorgeous saying; “I’d wanted to make a programme about Drag for a while but couldn’t find the right angle. There’s so much out there about Drag that I felt that the market was nearly saturated. But then when I started to talk to my friends and family, I realised that very few of them had heard the term ‘Drag King’ before. And I thought, if I’m going to make a programme about Drag Kings, it has to be about Phil.”

As well as Phil’s own account of his story, the documentary will also feature some of Ireland’s most renowned drag performers, including Davina Devine, Bunny O’Hare and Stanley Knife, Phil’s partner in the Shamcocks. The other drag artists speak on the importance of Phil T Gorgeous’ journey as well as his presence on the Irish LGBT+ scene. 

‘Phil T Gorgeous’ will be broadcast on RTE Radio 1 Extra on Friday, December 20  at 5 PM and will be available to listen to as a podcast on-demand after it airs.

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