“You’re as camp as a Brighton bus queue!” – The Bon Mots of Benidorm

I’ve snobbishly held out against the sun-damaged charms of ITV’s package holiday sitcom Benidorm, set in the ‘all inclusive’ Hotel Solana, for several series. But the sixth one – which sadly this week pours the sand out of its shoes and packs its bags for another year – had me surrendering to it more legs akimbo than the Solanas’ Mrs Slocombe-esque manageress Joyce Temple-Savage for Matthew Kelly. Created and written by Derren Litten (co-writer for The Catherine Tate Show), Benidorm is Carry On meets St […]

Camp For Beginners

Mark Simpson interviews David Halperin about his controversial new book How To Be Gay at Out.com  I’ve always been a big fan of Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, and Doris Day. But it was a secret, shameful love – until, that is, David Halperin’s new book, How to Be Gay (Harvard University Press), finally gave me the strength to come out about it. Talking about gay culture can make people of all persuasions very angry indeed. When Halperin began teaching a course on it at the University of Michigan […]

Who’s the Diva? Hillary or Obama?

As camp comic Kenneth Williams might say: ‘ark at ‘er! An entertaining, often incisive, if rather, er, campy, Huffington Post article ‘The Diva’s Camp’ about Hillary’s diva power (and why this turns off ‘Obama-colytes’) compares Hillary Clinton to Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest: ‘Hillary Clinton is possessed by the spirit of Joan Crawford. Like that notorious über-bitch immortalized by Faye Dunaway in the camp classic Mommie Dearest, Hillary bulldozed into a Democratic primary dominated by men and brazenly declared, as any self-respecting diva would: Don’t […]

The Sun newspaper – how gay is it?

Why is Britain’s best-selling, sauciest tabloid so unsure of its sexuality? Mark Simpson, the Guardian (August 24, 2007) The Sun’s TV critic Ally Ross is an unhappy camper. You see, he’s always bitching about TV being ‘too gay’. Which is a rather peculiar thing for a TV critic to complain about. Perhaps his dad wanted him to be a (much less well paid) sports writer. Last Friday, he proved what a pugilist he is by laying into the recently launched ITV Anthony Cotton daytime chat […]