Hot Stuff! Strictly winner Joe McFadden ready to hop on bus to Birmingham for Priscilla Queen of the Desert

By Megan Archer | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

Brace yourself Birmingham - there’s some Hot Stuff coming your way as glittering, glamorous, disco-pop Priscilla Queen of the Desert crashes straight into the city next year.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert will be coming to Birmingham in April - starring Joe McFadden, Miles Western and Nick Hayes

Starring Strictly Come Dancing winner Joe McFadden, this smash-hit musical features fabulous feathers, barely-there costumes, and an epic journey of self-discovery, sassiness and acceptance.

It’ll be at the Birmingham Hippodrome in April next year, and ahead of its arrival Express & Star reporter Megan Archer spoke with Joe about his stunning Strictly win, the time he had the “best Indian of his life” in Birmingham, and how he discovered his feminine side for his new role as drag queen Mitzi, also known as Tick.

Joe McFadden - photo by Darren Bell

For those who haven’t delighted in seeing Priscilla for the first time, it tells the hilarious adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus bound for the Australian Outback to put on the show of a lifetime.

It’s hard not to sing and dance along in your seat to the non-stop parade of dance-floor classic including It’s Raining Men, Hot Stuff, I Will Survive, and many, many more.

L:R - Miles Western as Bernadette, Joe McFadden as Tick/Mitzi and Nick Hayes as Adam/Felicia

Former Holby City star Joe admitted it was “a no brainer” auditioning for Priscilla. He first saw the musical in London and said he loved it.

“I knew I had to be a part of it,” he said. “I just loved how vibrant it was. There was no real decision making in it really.”


He stars as one of the three title roles with Nick Hayes, who plays Felicia, and Miles Western, who stars as Bernadette.

L:R Miles Western, Joe McFadden, and Nick Hayes on stage in Priscilla

But with his weeks of Strictly experience – the Scottish TV star proudly lifted the glitterball in 2017 with partner Katya Jones – is the 43-year-old already a natural on the dance stage?

Well he would be, if he didn't have to don sky high heels first.


"It's a challenge just walking in heels, just putting them on even," Joe laughed. "The first time I tried them on I thought 'this is going to end badly'. But like everything, you get better as you go on. Dancing is not the easiest thing at the best of times, but in heels it's a whole other thing. It's been a real learning curve."

The former Holby actor wowed the judges with his moves

His co-stars Nick and Miles felt similar – laughing and joking about the length of time it takes getting ready for the very glamorous production of Priscilla.

Nick, who plays drag-queen Felicia, also known as Adam, added: "There's so much shaving, fake tan, plucking. And then more questions - do we wax, shave or Veet?"

Miles, who plays transgender woman Bernadette, counts himself lucky that he doesn't have to tan and shave quite as vigorously like the rest of his co-stars.

"I do my chest and face of course. But I wear tights, and I have to have hip padding as well," he said.

But amongst all the glitter, glamour, and dashes of double entendres the show is so loved for – the trio say there's a deeper, more meaningful message behind Priscilla.

"I think it's the sort of show people can relate to it. It's a real crowd pleaser, with the songs, and there is a real story too," said Joe.

Joe McFadden - photo by Darren Bell

"The characters also go on a real journey. They go to bars dressed in drag, they get themselves in some real dangerous situations. It's about their challenges. We are all the same in the end, and want the same things from life. And this show is really about something, it's a musical that has a really important story."

Nick added: "It's a show about outsiders, freaks, and what it's like to be different. And they find their place."

"It's one about acceptance, equality and love and that's very important to see," chimed in Miles. "The country needs something like that at the moment. It's not all froth, fun and disco. There's something underneath."

Catch Priscilla Queen of the Desert at Birmingham Hippodrome from April 18.

Visit for tickets and more information.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email


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