Last week, I caught up with Drag Race UK finalist and favourite Ella Va Day. Speaking from her dressing room at The Lowry, Ella spoke to BathTime about her campaign with the breast cancer charity Coppafeel.
As well as being on Drag Race and being a premier Nigella Lawson impersonator, you’re championing Coppafeel. Can you tell us what is Coppafeel and what got you involved?
Coppafeel is a charity that supports everyone to make sure they’re checking themselves for breastcancer. The reason I got involved with them is because my mum has had breast cancer, she’s had all the treatments. It happened whilst Drag Race was filming. I got involved with Coppafeel because it was close to my heart.
Hope your mum is doing well! What might people not know about breast cancer that, especially young people, they need to be on the look out for?
I’m no medical expert but if you go on the Coppafeel website there are some really great visuals of different signs and symptoms that you might not necessarily think would be a sign of breast cancer. For example, my mum’s breast cancer it started by her nipple inverting and having a dry skin sort of thing. For a long time, she thought she just had eczema or something. We always just think “oh it’s going to be a lump” and it’ll be really obvious, but for some certain types of cancer, it’s not as obvious as you think.
Of course, it can happen in everyone: male or female, he and she and they. Anyone can get breast cancer.
That’s a really important message to get out there: anyone can get breast cancer.
Do you have any tips for ‘copping a feel’?
The main thing is knowing your own body so you can easily see if there is a change visually. We are always looking at ourselves in the mirror when doing our hair, getting out the shower maybe you moisturise your skin or putting fake tan on if you’re a male or female going out and want to look a bit tanned. That’s a perfect time for when you can check to see if anything is different, if anything feels different, if anything visually looks different. It’s just about being aware of what your normal is. In case anything changes, you’re prepared to go “okay, this is different” and go get it checked out. You’re not wasting anyone’s time.
How does Coppafeel support students?
I know what it’s like being a student, you’re out partying or sleeping in or whatever. Sometimes you forget so you can sign up for a boob reminder. There’s also, when me and my mum did the campaign, these bullet points for how to check yourself that you can stick on the website.
I also think that, as young people, you can forget it can happen to young people as well. It’s just about making sure you’re wise to what the changes could be and just spreading that amongst students and being prepared for what could happen in the future and catching it quick is important with breast cancer.
Thanks for talking to us, have you got any other projects coming up starring Ella Va Day?
The Christmas tour with Kitty Scott-Claus from drag race! We’re going on a quick UK and Dublin tour around Christmas time. It starts December 11th then other stuff that I obviously can’t talk about.
I’ve been so busy this year I can’t wait to have a little bit of a rest. I can’t wait to get myself back to the gym. I’ve got to prepare for this Christmas show- there’s never any rest but there’s some great things coming up which I’m excited about.
A cheeky last question: Drag Race Season 4 is airing. Are you backing anyone? Have you got any tips for the girls?
It’s so different watching someone else going through it after you’ve been through it. I think all the girls have done so well on the show because it’s such a hard experience to go through. The after bit is harder with all the fans commenting and trolling. I’ll just say, you’ve done so well, congratulations.
I’ve worked before with Black Peppa before and she’s an incredible artist. And Cheddar Gorgeous. So I’m going to go Cheddar and Black Peppa, I’m not going to say one!
Want to Coppafeel? Click here to go to the Coppafeel self check-out website and get started.