Divina De Campo spills the beer

It has been a year since the nation began working from home and millions have been staring at the same four walls ever since. So, to break up the drudgery of WFH and make for a more memorable nine to five, Heineken has put a bar on the end of a cherry picker and is delivering complimentary alcohol-free Heineken 0.0 beer to people through their windows. Welcome to the world’s first ‘Wind0.0w Service’, which today came to Manchester.

Picture the scene: a home worker is sat in their spare bedroom turned makeshift home office, on yet another video call, when there’s a knock at the window. In place of the normal view outside there’s now a bar suspended in the sky from the arm of a cherry picker, staffed by a celebrity bartender pouring a fresh pint of draught Heineken 0.0.

Heineken 0.0 could think of no more fabulous a face to staff the cherry picker bar in Manchester than famous RuPaul contestant and local resident Divina de Campo. The drag queen swapped the runway for other people’s windows and delivered Heineken 0.0 to homes across Manchester from up high.

Divina De Campo picked up the cherry picker bartending baton from lockdown disco legend Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and The Twang frontman Phil Etheridge who served pints through London and Birmingham windows earlier this month. ‘Wind0.0w Service’ will move on to Edinburgh (8th April) where Heineken 0.0 will be window-delivered for a period of time by stand-up comedian Eleanor Morton.

Divina de Campo said, “I thought I’d reached new heights being a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, but it seems today I’m going even higher, to deliver pints through people’s windows to my fellow northerners! I’m so excited to swap the runway for the Heineken 0.0 cherry picker bar for the day and bring some sparkle to people who are working from home.”

Matt Saltzstein, Beer Unit Director at Heineken commented: “Heineken 0.0 is all about saying ‘now you can’. Now you can enjoy a beer break while working from home with a tasty alcohol-free option. We wanted to bring this message to home workers in a memorable way – and attaching a bar to the end of a cherry picker to create the first ever window service certainly fits the bill. With alcohol-free drinks more popular than ever we can’t wait to put smiles on people’s faces and 0.0 beers in their hands, through their windows!”

We were really excited to speak with Divina and find out more!

How has this pandemic changed your life?

It has been a massive change I think it’s been a huge change for everybody. so much of my life has been centred around work. And, you know, producing things and entertaining people and that’s been a very different experience this year, you know. It has been very difficult, as most of my acts are based around audience interaction, and, and you read the audience. Well, we’ve not had an audience, so that’s been very difficult to sort of judge where people are enjoying what you’re doing or not. So that’s been very different. And, of course, just being locked in a house has been very different. Before this, I’ve been doing lots and lots of touring. I mean really since the last kind of six years I’ve been touring a lot. And so then, just being in one place, is a very different experience, as well. And it’s helped me to reassess some stuff though. I’ve spent the last kind of 15 years really focused on career and haven’t spent as much time with my family as I should have done so. I’m definitely going to be more conscious about getting the balance, a bit a bit more equal.

How did you manage to stay sane and fierce? What kept you going?

I’ve been really really lucky. I was involved in loads of different projects which kind of helped me stay sane and keep productive. And, if people were asking me, “Can you do this, can you do that?”, I said “Yeah”. Which, I mean it’s kind of a mantra for life anyway, as long as it’s something you’re interested in, go and do it. So what kept me going is just saying yes to things and being involved, and keeping productive. I don’t think I could have just sat back and gone “Well, that’s it for nine months, I’ll just sit around and do nothing”. And I’m not that kind of person. So, I wrote an EP. I filmed a Christmas special in my house, and just kept on doing things.

How did your life change after Drag Race season 1?

Yeah, definitely. I mean, I’ve always been kind of working a year ahead, so most of my bookings are kind of a year ahead already. So, Drag Race just kind of lifted that up and this meant that the diary was much fuller than usual. And, then, in terms of the platform that has been given me, it is massive. I have gone from about 12,000 followers on Instagram to over 300K. That was a huge change for somebody like me. And I’m super grateful!

Plus it has given me the ability to do things like Heineken, which I’m super excited about. I mean who doesn’t want to go on a cherry picker and have a pint served through the window. And, also, I got to audition for “Chicago”, so I’m going to be playing Marry Sunshine later in the year as well. So, in the film that’s played by Christine Baranski. She’s one of the reporters in in the trail. And she’s known for a sunny disposition. You know, since I was 14 I was like, well I want to do musical theatre, and then somebody told me that you need to be five foot 10 to be in a musical theatre. Well, it turned out that I mistakenly thought forever that I was five foot eight, but when I realised I could have been auditioning all this time, then I realised that everything happens for a reason. So, we’ve made it happen eventually. Αll being well, I’m going to be in Chicago, September, October and November. You know before then, I’m going to be Manchester’s new barmaid.

I don’t think, without Drag race that would have ever happened for me.

Υou came out as non-binary. So I just wanted to speak about this with you.

I didn’t really come out yesterday as non-binary. I kind of knew. I finally kind of got οn grips with my gender identity since I was 20. But, you know what it’s like you. You live your life and you get on with things and, and then people are like “Oh, you’re non-binary”. I didn’t talk about you on the show, it wasn’t something that came up, but it’s definitely something which I’ve just been getting on and living my life as a non-binary person for the last, probably 20 years, really. But because it was Trans Day of visibility recently. I put the post up about it.

Speaking of Drag Race, how did you find the second season? Is there enough diversity and representation?

I think, in the Drag Scene in general, yes, I think there is a wealth of diversity in the drug scene itself, actually. I think there’s still space for more black queens, and more people of colour, in general. But, I think that’s an issue which is kind of endemic in the gay scene, anyway. The scene doesn’t always make space for black people and people of colour in the way that it does for white twinks. So this is more of a general work that needs to be done to make our community more inclusive, but I think in terms of gender identity, there are all kinds of different greens out there; non-binary, cis, trans, afab. In terms of queens that we get to see on TV, there could definitely be some more representation in that.

TV is one of those things where we’re given an opportunity to show all those kids who are from different minorities, that there are different ways we can exist. It’s about showing other queer kids from any background, that actually there is space for you here, that you are welcome and valid.  Also, the trans, and afab queens you can also be here, you are also valid, you are working exactly the same as everybody else’s. I said this, almost straight after we would come out of drag race. There’s an opportunity here to have more conversations like the one Lemon and Bimini had about being non binary, that’s the first time that I’ve seen that on TV, being talked about without having a debate between somebody who isn’t non-binary talking about someone being non binary. It was the first time that I saw just two non binary people talking about what their experiences are.

The idea that there is only male and female is a very new social idea in terms of history. Humans have been around for thousands of years and there’s absolute wealth of evidence that throughout that time, most communities, most cultures have had a spectrum of gender identities. And yet for the last 2000 years, this binary idea is being pushed onto us. Through Christianity and colonialism. And it actually is really damaging, it’s a, it’s a false narrative, and it’s one that’s been about control rather than about reality.

Did you see any changes compared to your season?

I think the girls are a bit more mean to each other. I think mainly because our season was the first one, we were just a bit nicer with each other. But, I don’t think this season was radically different, apart from the fact that there was a pandemic halfway through. Another difference was the fact that there were just less older queens. When I am saying older I mean in their in their 30s. That’s not old for a drag queen. The joy of being a drag queen is that you can go on until your 80s. So, I think that there’s also a lot more space on drag race for some older faces and I would really love to see that.

Who were you rooting for and how did you find the result?

This year, I honestly would have been happy with any of the top four or the top three winning. I think they’re all extraordinary queens, I think they’re all super talented, and they all have a real different kind of genre of drag. I know Lawrence, I’ve worked with Lawrence, and I love Lawrence, just a brilliant, brilliant and very funny queen, great on stage, very creative and genuinely really likeable and really lovely person.

I was #TeamBimini just because I love those queens who have got the guts, but people keep discounting them. And I think that’s what was happening to Bimini, she was just getting discounted, even though, right from the beginning, she was the one bringing really interesting looks and clearly had a really different point of view to everybody else. And she is really funny and just so chilled about everything.

What would your message be to the runners-up?

Listen, winning means nothing. The real race starts now. That’s the real race after Drag Races is finished.

We have seen that dragrace fans get too fanatised and very frequently queens get a lot of online harassment and death threats. What is your opinion on this?

It’s just absolutely crazy. We’re living in an age where everybody has an opinion and an ability to voice that opinion. But, you don’t always have to do that. Sometimes, it’s better not to do that. And actually, in terms of a competition, the whole thing is a construct. You have to take all of it with a pinch of salt. And in terms of sending somebody hate, why don’t we just redirect that anger to the people who were supposed to be running the country, not sending them hate but sending them, you know messages of accountability? You could redirect that energy into an email to your local MP for why they’ve refused the extra 20 pounds credit for Universal Credit, or ask why and how they failed on nursing homes or about the “Track and Trace” that costed 6 billion pounds of our money. I mean, let’s switch the game up here and funnel that energy into people who can make radical changes in our lives instead of kids who’ve gone on to a reality TV show because, like I said, there weren’t that many older people in there. These are kids. They’re like 20. What is wrong with you? Go and do something useful with your life instead.

Do you think trolls are given a big platform now?

Oh absolutely. Piers Morgan is paid to be a troll. And that’s, unfortunately, the media framework that we’ve created. He gets paid because he spends his life being a troll about people or to people. So, the only way that we can change that, because we live in a capitalist society, is by looking for more reasoned more measured voices and uplifting those. If we constantly give attention to those people, they’re going to gain more money, which means that they’ll be put on more things. And I think that there’s a responsibility in mainstream media. Editors, and directors have a responsibility to their audience to give a more measured and more informed viewpoint. Just to be clear as well. I don’t think Piers Morgan believes much of what he said, he’s the “panto villain” and he’s playing a role. But, unfortunately, that role feeds into some of the worst aspects of our society and invalidates them and gives them credibility, and that’s really damaging.

What are the first things you will do when lockdown is over?

I’ve missed meeting people and having a hug, human contact is just so important to my well being. But, the first thing I’m probably going to do is I’m going to go out and get absolutely smashed and just have a massive party. I just want to just go out and dance so much.

The ‘Wind0.0w Service’ cherry picker bar has been developed in full compliance with Government coronavirus regulations and is COVID secure.

About Heineken UK

Headquartered in Edinburgh, HEINEKEN is the UK’s leading pub, cider and beer business. The company owns around 2,500 pubs as part of its Star Pubs & Bars business and employs around 2,300 people. We are passionate about our cider and beer brands which include Foster’s, Heineken®, Strongbow, Desperados, Kronenbourg1664, John Smith’s, Bulmers, Amstel, Red Stripe, Birra Moretti and Old Mout backed by a full range of niche and speciality brands.

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