Camp queen of the skies Pam Ann returns to her native Australia with a brand new show, Around The World, in August. Ann, the alter ego of comedian Caroline Reid, will take audiences through a cheeky salute to the agony and the ecstasy of airline travel.
It’s a topic that Reid’s parlayed into a wildly successful international comedy career, amassing celeb fans including Madonna and being embraced by the industry she so savagely skewers. She’s featured in promotions for British Airways, Lufthansa, British Airways and Qantas, starred in her own TV talk show, The Pam Ann Show, and twice hosted the Sydney Mardi Gras live broadcast.
We caught up with the diva — Pam Ann that is, we hear she had Reid stowed safely in an overhead luggage compartment — on an international layover and found out exactly what Australian fans could expect from her stage spectacular.
Pam, we know you’re an international jetsetter, but are you particularly excited to be back on stage in your home country in August?
You bet! I can’t wait to rip into ‘sorry’ ‘sorry’ ‘sorry’ Qantas and the Virgin Blue sluts.
Do you think the glamour’s gone out of flying now that you can get flights for a pittance on any budget carrier? Did you prefer being an air hostess when you were only waiting on the rich and famous?
The glamour hasn’t gone, the old girls working some of the Qantas routes still have the glamour. It’s the customer service and etiquette the younger crews nowadays don’t have nor will ever have. It’s a bygone era — gone are the days you could write ‘Bomb’ on a sickbag and have a good laugh about it.
We’ve had a few shake-ups in the Australian airline industry in recent times, with Qantas and Tiger both being grounded momentarily. Do you worry you might soon be out of a job?
I won’t. I don’t work for Qantas nor would I ever consider defunct Tiger Air, even as a passenger — I own my own airline!
If the shit hit the fan, I would go work with Emirates — they have so much money they wash their planes with fuel. Or Lufthansa, who own every airline in Europe and recently bought Greece.
If there was a nuclear war the only things remaining would be Emirates, Lufthansa and Cher.
You’ve worked with many airlines, from British Airways to our own Qantas. Have you been surprised by the love and affection the rest of the airline industry has given you?
I am a very passionate person when it comes to airlines and cabin crew. I love them back — they are my family. I’ve even sucked a few off — look, it’s a service I provide on Pam Ann Airlines. Virgin do a great service too.
You’ve amassed lots of celeb pals and fans over the years. Had anyone famous on any of your flights lately?
I’m close to Elton and David — they’re always calling me to crew their private jets and look after Zachary. Victoria Beckham, Zac Posen, Madonna, Debbie Harry, Richard Branson and Carson Kressley are all clocking up their Pam Ann Frequent Flyer points.
You’ve obviously travelled all over the world. Anywhere you’ve never been but you’re dying to go to? Anywhere you’d gladly never go again?
I would love to go to Cape Town. I’ve never been and it sounds delicious! I don’t have any places I would never go back to, but if I had to say, it would be somewhere that was not gay-friendly.
You have a particularly rabid gay fan base. Do you have a message for your gay fans?
Sure. I’d rather cry in a Rolls Royce than be happy on a bike!
INFO: Pam Ann Around The World Australian tour, August 1 – 24. Sydney State Theatre August 3 – 4, Brisbane Powerhouse August 10 – 11, Melbourne’s Athenaeum August 17 – 18. www.pamann.com