Combining the hosting talents of quick-witted drag queen Miz Ima Starr and her furry friend Nathan Little, Channel 31 queer arts program Beauty and the Bear returns to the screens for a new season from next week. While it may seem obvious which is which, the pair themselves are more than a little confused.

“There has always been a bit of a debate about which of us is the beauty and which is the bear, especially as Nathan is absolutely gorgeous, and I can be… well… a complete bitch from time to time,” Starr said.

“I’m more of the Jerry Seinfeld and Ima is the Kramer. She keeps the insanity coming while I try to make sure we don’t get arrested,” Little said.

Over eight episodes, the duo interview a swag of queer Melbourne performers and artists, showcasing an eclectic mix of dance, cabaret, theatre, drag, song, DJing — and just about anything else you can think of that’s creative and queer. Indeed the season debut, screening on January 18, promises to be a suitably diverse show.

“I sit down in a hair salon with the gorgeous lads from the Blow Waves and try not to drool over my lapel microphone. Ima has a fascinating chat to indigenous artist Troy-Anthony Baylis about contemporary art and his complete obsession with Kylie,” Little said.

“And I also have what can only be described as an on-air intervention with 2009 Melbourne Comedy Festival enfant terrible Glace Chase. Beware — enema parties, XTube uploads, commune gangbangs and innovative uses for skincare products all feature,” Starr warned.

And don’t worry — if you miss the first episode or simply can’t get the old rabbit ears to tune in to Channel 31, Starr said there are other ways to support Beauty and the Bear.

“The next time you’re hitch-hiking down the information superhighway, stick out your thumb for the creepy panel van that is www.beautyandthebear.com.au. It’s got outtakes, clips, and some interview print that was far too racy to put to air.”
“We’re also on Facebook which will have up-to-the-minute updates of our slew of personal appearances throughout the season,” Little said.

“We’re gonna be everywhere during Midsumma promoting the show so keep an eye out for a pink-haired former beauty queen and a fat hairy Samoan at a den of iniquity near you!”

info: Episode one of Beauty and the Bear screens Monday January 18 at 10.30pm on Channel 31 in Melbourne and online at www.beautyandthebear.com.au in other states.

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