Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Man About Town: Ride a mechanical bull on live TV? All in a day's work


You could say that presenting a live TV programme is a bit like riding a bucking bull. So having to ride a mechanical bucking bull, while presenting a show, came with its own complications.

I was at Steam & Rye bar and restaurant (co-owned by club king Nick House and Kelly Brook), which has just got the £60,000 mechanical bull it imported from the US, out of quarantine and into the middle of its dancefloor. I was dispatched to the City of London to interview the owner and, yes, ride the metal beast. After seeing my meek protestations waved away, I acquiesced and signed the three, yes three, forms waiving my rights to sue the bar should the bull kill me.

So I put on the poncho, the cowboy hat and my best smile and climbed aboard.

The music went up a notch and I clung on. After lulling me into a sense of security, the controller whipped up the speed to a dizzying pace and for 75 seconds, I provided a distraction for the city workers trying to drink the day away (and the viewers at home). Just when I thought that I had the measure of it, the machine jerked to a stop and I was sent to the inflatable floor, to continue the rest of the show.

There is, unfortunately, a link to it here: bit.ly/1h9Zx3q

A couple of nights later I found myself at Tranny Shack, at Madame Jojos - perhaps the best-known club night for the drag queen scene. I’d last been several years ago with Jodie Harsh, royalty among the reines, where I had looked only slightly out of place in jeans and a blazer on a table full of fabulously dressed men with big hair. On Wednesday I was there for the launch of Drag Queens of London, a new reality show on London Live. It felt appropriate that one of the last-remaining scenes of what old Soho used to be, a new very entertaining show was coming to life celebrating some of its more colourful inhabitants.

And I was just pleased that there wasn’t a mechanical bull in sight…