RuPaul's Drag Race UK finalist Bimini on Norfolk roots and nightclub bans

Ru Paul's Drag Race finalist Bimini Bon Boulash in a Norwich City leotard on episode one.

RuPaul's Drag Race finalist Bimini Bon Boulash in a Norwich City leotard on episode one. - Credit: BBC/World of Wonder/Guy Levy

Ahead of the final of RuPaul's Drag Race UK, Bimini Bon Boulash chats about growing up in Norfolk and getting banned from Prince of Wales Road clubs. 

Bimini, the stage name of Tommy Hibbitts, was born in Great Yarmouth and went to Lynn Grove Academy, but it wasn't until they moved to London at 18 to study journalism that they first discovered drag. 

Bimini, who is non-binary, said: "When I moved to London was when I first saw a drag queen out in Soho and that is when I was like 'wow'.

"In Great Yarmouth, there wasn't really anyone that was doing it at that time or a lot of it must have been hidden." 

We chatted to Norfolk-born drag queen Bimini Bon Boulash ahead of the Ru Paul's Drag Race UK final on Zoom. 

We chatted to Norfolk-born drag queen Bimini Bon Boulash ahead of the RuPaul's Drag Race UK final on Zoom. - Credit: Contributed

The character of Bimini Bon Boulash, a mash-up of what they would have been called if assigned female at birth and their mum's cat name, was born in 2017, then in 2019 they went full-time drag.

It is a decision that hugely paid off and landed them a spot on the biggest drag competition in the world.

The show is hosted by legendary American queen RuPaul Charles and the UK version is now in its second series. 

Bimini Bon Boulash is one of the four finalists on Ru Paul's Drag Race UK series 2. Photographer: Ray Burmiston

Bimini Bon Boulash is one of the four finalists on RuPaul's Drag Race UK series 2. Photographer: Ray Burmiston - Credit: BBC/World of Wonder/Ray Burmiston

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Despite getting into the bottom two and having to lip sync in the first episode dressed in a Norwich City leotard, with the contestants tasked with honouring their hometown, they have been on the ball ever since.

Bimini, who now lives in north-east London, said: "Don't sue me Canaries but yeah unfortunately I used to go to football matches and hated it.

I went with my straight friends when I was confused and this is what I would have worn."

Bimini has gone on to win four challenges, earning a coveted Ru Peter Badge each time, including for their impersonation of Katie Price in Snatch Game and as part of band the United Kingdolls, whose song UK Hun? on the show reached number 27 in the UK charts. 

Bimini Bon Boulash in the workroom on Ru Paul's Drag Race UK. 

Bimini Bon Boulash in the workroom on RuPaul's Drag Race UK. - Credit: BBC/World of Wonder/Guy Levy

Bimini also received widespread praise for their conversation with fellow queen Ginny Lemon about being non-binary, which inspired others to speak out. 

Bimini is now one of the firm favourites to win the show and is up against Lawrence Chaney, Tayce and Ellie Diamond. 

"It would round-off my entire story and journey, from starting in the bottom and now getting to the top.

"Whatever happens, it has been a really great run and I have really enjoyed it, when I was in the lip sync in the first episode I put my foot down and said it ain't happening again", Bimini said. 

Bimini now has hundreds of thousands of followers on social media and celebrity fans including Cara Delevingne, Pamela Anderson and Kathy Burke, who has changed her Twitter name to Kath Bimini Bon Burkey.  

There are plenty of exciting plans in the pipeline, including releasing music and a UK tour with the United Kingdolls, which sold-out in five hours, and Bimini has asked for a Norwich date to be added.

Bimini is no stranger to the clubs in Prince of Wales Road and was once on a blacklist.

"I got barred from every club in Prince of Wales Road at one point as I didn't know who I was and had a horrible hairstyle and a lot of people gave me stick and I would get drunk and angry at 18.

"The security would radio through to say don't let the orange boy with red hair anywhere." 

Bimini goes back to visit their mum in Great Yarmouth when they can and is hoping to return when restrictions ease.

"When I come back it is nice as my mum's house is right by the beach and you can take a deep breath and it doesn't feel like you're clogging up your lungs." 

BBC Three brings the final episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK to BBC iPlayer from 7pm Thursday, March 18. 

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