No-one who knows Heather James from her weekly column in The News would expect her to go quietly on her 60th birthday – and true to form, she won’t.
Instead the woman who rejoices in the nicknames of Hotlips and the Pink Diva will mark the occasion by holding a birthday bash at the Kings in Southsea.
Entitled Pretty In Pink, Thursday’s 7.30pm show will raise money for Cancer Research UK.
But she insists: ‘It wasn’t my idea. I just wanted to have a party. Now it looks like everyone may be dressing up as me. It’s going to be outrageous!’
Heather, who also broadcasts on Wave 105 and Express FM, promises a line-up including Zumba dancers, magicians and the 60-strong Spinnaker barbershop chorus.
Is Heather herself a practitioner of Zumba? ‘I’m a trained Latin dance instructor, darling! My parents had a school for 50 years. I thought: “I could do that, even though I’m knocking on!”
‘It’s really cardio rather than dancing, and I wanted to do it for chubby old women. Imagine seeing them shaking their bottoms in the air!’
But alas, although the women will be there, it is not yet certain they will be allowed to strut their stuff on this occasion.
Among those who will definitely perform is former Portsmouth Players leading light Wezley Sebastian. He played Miss Understanding in the West End production of Australian drag show Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert.
Other performers include another drag star in Dave Lynn, Argentine tango dancers, a Stavros Flatley tribute, a burlesque act (with snake), a hypnotist/mentalist, Southsea actor Christopher Marlowe with Richard Rogers performing parlour songs, and ‘a surprise finale’.
Much of that plays up to Heather’s outrageous image, but she says earnestly: ‘People don’t know who I am. They see a pink fluffy thing but I’m really a spiritual person.
‘I had a show on Portsmouth Hospital Radio called Heather’s Hilarious Hocus-Pocus Show. I told them about dreams, past lives and re-incarnation.’
· Tickets: (023) 9282 8282 or kings-southsea.com.