Just A Quickie with...Ian Stroughair's York cabaret queen of international drag acts, Velma Celli, fresh from touching down at Heathrow

What show will you present at The Basement, City Screen, on Frida on your homecoming from wintering in sunny Australia?

"As always, it will be an eclectic mix of songs from musical theatre, pop, rock and jazz. There'll be some special little Aussie treats too to celebrate my return to York following my tour of Australia, which I completed last week. Oh, and then I went to the Seychelles last weekend too. I’ve been busy!"

Any new content for Friday night?

"Always new content. Velma gets BORED. We only repeat Velma classics by request, of which the audience get to choose a couple of songs ahead of time, every time."

Can you reveal those new numbers?

"No, no, let’s keep the content a surprise!"

How long were you out in Australia? Where did you play: which cities; what kind of places? What was the reaction?

"I was there just short of five weeks. I played Melbourne, Sydney, Brunswick Picture House on the Gold Coast, then ended at FringeWorld in Perth. It was a real whistle-stop tour.

"Both my shows, A Brief History Of Drag and Equinox, were a hit. We couldn’t be happier with the response. A Brief History Of Drag took home unanimous five-star reviews again! It’s crazy really."

What was your Oz highlight?

"So many, but I would have to say taking a helicopter ride over Sydney harbour was a biggie. I saw a musical in the Sydney Opera House too, which was quite magnificent."

York Press:

So wizard in Oz: Velma Celli's poster for triumphant Aussie tour

How does performing in Oz and York compare?

"The only real discernible difference is the amount of sweat involved. Both audiences are fabulous and so very generous."

How did the land of The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert greet you?

"With open arms and mountainous wigs. The drag queens out there are some of the best in the world and looked after me so well. It was a real honour."

Are you working on a new show for 2019?

"Yes. I have several new residencies in London, including a weekly show on a Wednesday at the legendary Phoenix Artist Club and weekends at the new Disco54, formerly Cafe de Paris, in the West End.

"I'm writing my new show for the Fringes as we speak. I can’t tell you the name yet but it’s all about female divas! So it’s not much of a stretch, to be honest!"

This being Oscars week, which award-garlanded diva film do you prefer: A Star Is Born or Bohemian Rhapsody?

"Bohemian, 1000 per cent. An incredible performance by Rami [Malek as Queen's Freddie Mercury]. The inaccuracy of the timeline did bother me, I have to say, but I’m willing to forgive it for the performances. Breathtaking. And we all know Freddie is my hero!"

Do you have any message for the good people of York before Friday's show?

"My darling 'Bitches', I have missed you so very much. I can’t wait to see you this Friday. Get those requests in and the glad rags ON!"

The Velma Celli Show returns to The Basement, City Screen, York, March 1, 8pm; doors open at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £15 at thebasementyork.co.uk/velma-celli or on 0871 902 5747. Further Velma Celli shows will follow on April 5, May 3, June 7, July 5, August 2, September 6, October 2, November 1 and December 6.