"Ladies I Love – more than gardening!" says Ceri Dupree

6a01156fa075f4970c0153918fd86f970bWales’ own female impersonator Ceri Dupree is adamant, “I have absolutely no memories of gardening as a child; we had a big garden but I never had any interest in it whatsoever.

“I do like gardens now but not too perfect, which is unusual for me as I’m orderly in everything I do.  I like gothic-y type gardens, not eerie exactly but a bit wild.”

“My own front garden is all chippings with 3 huge gothic style urns and the back garden is large but mostly lawn, which is great for parties.  I have got blue pots everywhere which look very Greek or Mediterranean and they have got plants in them but I’ve not a clue what they are. They’re all green foliage with a little bit of purple.”

The international star, who has also written and produced his own shows, confesses, “I was always the comedian at school and used to impersonate the teachers.   When I was 13 or 14 I impersonated Mrs Thatcher at a school Concert.  My whole family was in entertainment and at 17 I started to do the Clubs.  Shirley Bassey was really popular, so I did a lot of other strong women like Tina Turner and Ruth Madocs.  Ruth loves my impressions of her.”

He adds, “I love doing the old stars, the Divas like Bette Davies and Marilyn Monroe, they have so much gravitas.  Adele is a modern favourite as is Lady Gaga.  Some impersonations just don’t work; I tried to do Kathryn Jenkins but couldn’t get the right angle and I still can’t do Judy Garland; I have limitations.” He laughs, adding  “Some just come out of the blue.  I do Camilla Parker Bowles in her full riding outfit, the audience love to hate her; she’s like  a pantomime villain.”

“I toyed with the idea of doing Charlie Dimmock years ago but didn’t think she was funny enough really, or glamorous enough,” he adds.

Whilst not the most enthusiastic gardener I’ve spoken to, Ceri does love and appreciate being outdoors, “I used to ride horses when I was a kid and then a few years ago when I was in South Africa, I was a bit drunk at a party when the host asked if I liked horse-riding. I said ‘I was practically born on a horse’ which backfired a bit when he took a group of us riding the next day.  I did manage to stay on but I knew I’d been rumbled!”

“I like walking and would love to do more of the beautiful cliff walks in Penarth.  I did a lot of walking in Greece recently.  It’s good thinking time but most of my creative time is whilst driving the 3 or 4 hours to a Show.  Work can be mental.  Sometimes I do three shows a week, sometimes it’s sixteen.”

“I’m looking forward to the Cardiff dates, people come from all over the UK to the Cardiff Show; There’s a real sparkle to it and of course I tailor it to the Welsh.”

www.ceridupree.com.

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