Hartlepool drag queen hopes to bring prestigious national title home
A Hartlepool contestant is hoping to be crowned Miss Drag UK this weekend.
Anthony Layton, 21, performs as Celeste St Clair and has landed a spot in the final of the prestigious event.
The final was supposed to take place last year but was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the long wait is nearly over and the winner will be revealed on Sunday, May 16, following the filming of the glamorous finale in Kent back in March.
Anthony has said he doesn’t know who will grab the crown - as the organisers cleverly filmed each of the participants winning.
He said: "I have everything crossed. It would mean the absolute world to me to come from somewhere like Hartlepool and do something as big as Miss Drag UK and bring the crown home.
"I’m excited, nervous, but feeling humbled as well.
"On the advert that was posted for the final there was a lot of supportive comments from people in Hartlepool, cheering me on with #TeamCeleste all over the comments.
"It’s really humbling that the town is backing me.”
Anthony, who was born and raised in Hartlepool, first started doing drag in 2016 but didn’t perform as Celeste until 2018.
The receptionist has said his drag persona has evolved “in every aspect of the word”, adding: "My personality has developed, my concept, my outfit, my make up.
"Everything about Celeste changed between auditioning and filming.
"Celeste is very much a version of Anthony. She is everything I am and more. If you take my confidence, you multiply it by 10, if you take my personality, you multiply it by 10.
"She is just this super fun, outgoing person, who just wants to have a good time and she wants to give everyone else a good time.
Anthony has said he hasn’t performed in Hartlepool as much as he would have liked although every time he has “it’s been one of the best shows I’ve ever done”.
He added: “It’s so unique and it just gets people excited because they know they’re about to see something that came from where they came from.”
The finale will be streamed live on Miss Drag UK’s Facebook page on Sunday at 7:30 pm.