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Reigning supreme Young Dublin drag queen hoping for glory on The Big Deal talent show

Dubliner Liam Maughan (22) is now wowing fans on Virgin Media’s talent show The Big Deal, and has stormed through to the first semi-final tonight.

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Angelica Starr

Angelica Starr

Angelica Starr

A YOUNG Irish drag queen admits he can see parallels between him and the subject of the hit new Hollywood film Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

The Amazon flick, based on the hit West End show, is based on the true life story of 16-year-old Jamie Campbell who went to his school prom as a drag queen.

Starring Max Harwood in the main role, the movie also features Richard E Grant, Sharon Horgan and Sarah Lancaster.

Dubliner Liam Maughan (22) is now wowing fans on Virgin Media’s talent show The Big Deal, and has stormed through to the first semi-final tonight.

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Angelica Starr

Angelica Starr

Angelica Starr

He had Boy George calling him a “diva” for his alter ego of Angelica Starr.

“I know the story and he had a lot of support, particularly from his mother (Margaret), who helped him with his dresses,” he explains.

“My own mother Lorna is a seamstress and she makes all my dresses, including the ones you see on TV. I’ve now learnt to sew myself.”

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Liam with mum Lorna

Liam with mum Lorna

Liam with mum Lorna

Liam first experimented with being a female impersonator during his teens.

“I went into Penneys with a friend to get make up and foundation and she said get this and get that, and practised with it and it kind of snowballed from that,” he recalls.

He has always loved drag.

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“I started dancing when I was about 12 and I’d go to auditions, and it was hard to break the stereotype. I loved performing and I loved dressing up,” he notes

Liam hails from Beaumont and went to school in the working class suburb of Coolock.

“I grew up in the northside of Dublin,” he explains. “ I did suffer bullying in primary school and was out as a gay lad in secondary school. I went to Chanel college in Coolock and while there was a lot of homophobia there, which I did witness and hear, which I threw to the side, but it was never really directed at me as I had a lot of friends there who looked out for me.

“I did go to an all-boys school, but there was a girls school across the road and I made a lot of friends with the girls there and they were very supportive of me – they even gave me advice on what dresses I might wear for my future act.”

Viewers saw Boy George, Lyra and Deirdre O’Kane put him through to the semi-final, but he did not get any votes from Jedward or Aston Merrygold.

“I was delighted Boy George was a fan, but I’m surprised Jedward didn’t vote for me,” he admits.

He bowled over the judges with his high energy dance routine and lip synching, all in high heels.

“I think I was born with it,” he said when asked how he he’s able to gyrate in heels.” I’m really lucky. I knew my performance would be really strong.

“I’ve relatively small feet, a size eight, so it’s easy for me to find and fit into them.”

Liam works as a waiter but being a drag queen is his main passion.

“I love drag shows, I haven’t been in the George since lockdown to see them back in action,” he said.

“I’ve played at the Mother block party, Midlands Pride and I did a show in Cork recently.

“I performed in the George before lockdown, for Witchy Wednesday and Thirsty Thursday.”

He has two older sisters and a younger brother, who all support him in his role.

“One of my sisters is a hair stylist, so that’s also a help,” he smiles.

He has a touching explanation for his stage name.

“I was 19 or 20 when I transformed into Angelica, I was born a twin and my brother passed away, so I wanted to incorporate him into my name with ‘Angel’ in it.”

The final of The Big Deal has already been filmed and even if he does not win the €50,000 big prize, Liam has big plans for Angelica.

“I want to move to London to pursue my dream over there, as it’s the mecca of gay culture,” he said.

Also in tonight’s semi-final are aerial pole artist and a roller-skating duo, two Irish dancing brothers, and two male singers.

The Big Deal airs tonight on Virgin media One 7pm

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