BOLSOVER: Town lad to TV drag queen

Nicky Cann (right) has transformed his life around since joining a drag act.
Nicky Cann (right) has transformed his life around since joining a drag act.

Tottering in heels and with a face-full of slap, buxom entertainer Tina Turnoff is anything but a drag.

The fun and fabulous 23-year-old, who can be seen donning a pink pinny and travelling the country in a shiny silver trailer, is the alter ego of Bolsover lad, Nicky Cann, who is on the yellow brick road to stardom with cross-dressing troupe, the Camp Cooks.

Nicky Cann with the other Camp Cooks.

Nicky Cann with the other Camp Cooks.

With stars including comedian Jack Whitehall as fans and fresh from an appearance on the Alan Titchmarsh Show, the Camp Cooks are out to bring a touch of glitz and glamour to the world of festival catering.

“We go all around all the festivals cooking and entertaining” said former Moorside pupil Nicky. “We go from festival to festival so it’s non-stop and it’s tough. But I love it. It’s such a laugh.

“I just like entertaining people. It is what I have always wanted to do.”

Life is a cabaret for Nicky, who spends an hour and twenty minutes transforming himself into his foxy female counterpart.

Nicky Cann

Nicky Cann

He said: “First I shave, then I do my foundation and then my eye make-up and my lippy. Then I put my dress on and put my boobs in.

“It took me years to learn how to do it properly. When I first started I wasn’t very good at it. One of the guys from Camp Cooks showed my how to do it, and then I started doing it myself. Now I experiment with all sorts of colours.

“I like my glitter – I’m quite decadent.”

But his drag queen calling comes after a difficult past, including being excluded from school as a youngster.

“I was a terror” said Nicky. “This has really helped me calm down. You wont believe it but this is my 38th job. Before this I was doing various call centre jobs, but this is my dream.”

He added: “My family and friends have supported me all the way. You get the odd people that don’t approve but I just find that amusing.

“It is nice because you wouldn’t think of Bolsover as the most drag queen friendly place but everyone has been great. It’s lovely. It brings a tear to your eye.”

Following Monday’s appearance on the Alan Titchmarsh show, in which Tina Turnoff and the Camp Cooks covered the famous gardener in popcorn, the foursome are being eyed up for filming across the pond.

“We have been talking to TV producers in London and we are hoping to go to the USA in January” he said. “The programme will show us travelling the country in a vintage airspace trailer, cooking and entertaining our way as we go.

“I can’t wait.”

Nicky will be giving a solo performance on Saturday, November 16 at 9pm at the Cavendish in Bolsover. For more information visit