Video: Conchita performs at London Pride 2014
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – She won the collective hearts of the continent with her Eurovision victory – and now Conchita Wurst has received a similarly warm welcome at the annual London Pride march. The Austrian drag queen – who scored the country their first contest victory since 1966 last month – donned a multi-coloured maxi-dress for her performance in Trafalgar Square on Saturday.
And she had some words of wisdom for the crowds, telling them: ‘Let us be proud about who we are and let us give a statement for love, respect and tolerance.’ The singer also received the seal of approval from Sir Ian McKellen, who was among those taking part in the parade through central London. ‘Showbusiness has always led the way when it comes to the freedom to be yourself,’ Sir Ian said. ‘So, Conchita is following in the footsteps of our predecessors.
He added: ‘There is a long tradition of outrageousness and confidence that performers embody, and that has an enormous impact. It clears the way for others to dare to be themselves. She has done just that.’ Conchita later took to Twitter to thank Sir Ian for his words, as well as giving London a big thumbs-up.
Others who appeared at the event included Coronation Street actor Charlie Condou as well as X Factor champion Sam Bailey. Conchita became an overnight sensation after her appearance at Eurovision in May, going on to score a convincing victory with the ballad Rise Like A Phoenix. Afterwards she told the crowds at the contest in Copenhagen: ‘We are unity…and we are unstoppable.’ Around 20,000 people are reported to have joined in the march, which began in Baker Street and stretched all the way to Whitehall.