Drag queen dubbed a ‘British icon’ after sniffing poppers live on Channel 4: ‘F**king legend!’
Drag queen Fatt Butcher has been hailed as a “British icon” after they were seen sniffing poppers live on a Channel 4 Pride special.
The truly amazing moment happened during British comedian Joe Lycett’s Big Pride Party, which aired on Channel 4 on Sunday (3 July). Lycett marked the 50th anniversary of Pride in the UK with a festive two-hour long celebration in his hometown of Birmingham.
Some observant viewers caught Fatt Butcher not-so-sneekily inhaling from a small bottle of poppers as they stood in the background behind Lycett. Of course, social media absolutely raved about the truly hilarious moment, and one person even hailed Fatt Butcher as a “BRITISH ICON”.
— 3.14159265359 (@PorkElizabeth) July 3, 2022
Sniffing poppers live on national television. This has to be a first. https://t.co/wXNHyf0fC8
— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) July 3, 2022
True icon behaviour.
— Alex Eve Russell 🍑 (@AlexEve__) July 3, 2022
— Adam Zmith (@AdamZmith) July 4, 2022
This is Pride
— Alfie Ordinary (@AlfieOrdinary) July 4, 2022
Drag queen Fatt Butcher even got in on the fun themselves, tweeting “MOM I JUST DID POPPERS ON CHANNEL 4” and sharing a screenshot of the truly iconic moment.
“I’ve bloody made it, mom!” they added in another tweet.
Fatt Butcher told PinkNews that they can “neither confirm nor deny” the “scandalous and salacious rumours” they brought poppers to the Channel 4 programme. But they said, if they had, they would have been thinking about how the substance was an “important part of queer history”.
“Joe’s event was to mark 50 years of Pride, and I think we wanted to make that was from a queer perspective and that we weren’t presenting a kind of sanitised version of what a queer, late-night, chaotic party might be,” Butcher said.
They continued: “There’s two things. One in the noble tradition of Channel 4’s programming, following in the footsteps of great Eurotrash, I wanted to bring some of that energy back to the network.
“Poppers, for me, are an integral part of queer nightlife culture and think they have a kind of mystical, collective quality [to them].
“There’s something very ceremonial about them about this illicit bottle being passed around the dance floor as a kind of communal thing.”
Butcher added they have “always been a legend” and an “icon” so it’s just time that the internet was “finally waking up to it”. They explained that “idea of poppers” is very much part of their performance art, and they use it a lot in their work and shows.
Butcher also wanted to remind people that – in the “hypothetical situation” where they brought poppers to the programme – that the substance is “legal”. They added it is the “only good thing the Tory party has ever done” for the LGBTQ+ community in the UK and believed the Conservative government did so to “make it easier to f**k us”.
The most common type of poppers is amyl nitrite, a legal substance which dilates the blood vessels and relaxes involuntary smooth muscles.
The first documented use of amyl nitrite was in the 1840s by a man called Antoine Jérome Balard, but Scottish scientist Thomas Lauder Brunton helped popularise the substance as a medical treatment for patients with angina.
Brunton believed it would help lower patients’ blood pressure and led to amyl nitrite being sold in glass ampoules on a prescription basis. Patients were told to crush the ampoules – which made a popping sound, thus giving rise to the slang term – and inhale the fumes.
The liquid chemical is now sold in a small bottle and usually sniffed. Poppers have become popular within the queer community for helping people feel more free and relaxed during sex.
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Lycett’s Pride programme also featured appearances by Boy George and the Culture Club, Steps, Rupert Everett, Heartstopper stars Joe Locke and Yasmin Finney, Olly Alexander, comedian Mawaan Rizwan and Drag Race icons Tia Kofi and Tayce.