Louie Spence, tickled pink and seeing red.

Louie Spence has been in Australia for two weeks enjoying a bit of a break, ahead of his commentary role on the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras this weekend.

The self-made, flamboyant star of Pineapple Dance Studios is tickled pink to be working on the broadcast, despite admitting he still doesn’t know much about what he’ll be doing. But that’s fine by him. He just loves being spontaneous and outrageous.

“I haven’t been preparing myself because I like surprises and there’s always lots of suprises on Mardi Gras apparently so I’m just going with the flow,” he told TV Tonight.

“I’ve done a photo shoot for a couple of gay magazines but I don’t even know what area I’m in. I know I’m hosting part of the parade in the street, which is where I like it. I feel comfortable with all the girls and boys.

“But with me things are very organic. I don’t like much direction. I like to be left and just go.”

Joining him in commentary will be Charlotte Dawson, Ruby Rose, Matthew Mitcham and Courtney Act as part of Arena’s live broadcast.

“I’ve seen bit of Mardi Gras on TV before and I have lots of Aussie friends back home who’ve told me what it’s all about and how fabulous it is,” says Spence.

But despite his buoyant demeanour, he does have firm views on some of the political issues that Mardi Gras is renowned for, including a message for PM Julia Gillard.

“The issue of Gay Marriage is very, very important, or civil partnerships or just anything to acknowledge a gay partnership. I’ve been in a civil partnership for 3 years and been with my partner for 10 years and it does make a difference,” he says.

“I’m really surprised that over here it isn’t already legal to have civil partnerships or recognition of gay partnerships, especially for such a young and vibrant country. And also Aussies are so liberal, but then again maybe that’s just me being naive because I’ve just met a lot of gay ones, or people that live in the city. Maybe the ones in the suburbs aren’t so (liberal).

“But even if they’re not I think it’s down to ….whatshername, Gillard with her bad red hair and nasty suits. It’s down to her to make a change. If she can go back on her carbon charges, why doesn’t she just say ‘Let the gays get married?’ I’m sure it would take her off all that flak she’s getting now and that bad hair. And she might as well do it now while Mardi Gras is on.”

That’s assuming she will listen to a visiting small screen celebrity of course….

Spence will shortly be seen in his new series Showbusiness, branded as a sequel to Pineapple Dance Studios. The fly on the wall series follows the preparations for a West End musical.

This is his second visit to Australia, but he has plenty of Aussie mates back home in the UK, who constantly remind him of our relaxed demeanour and progressive thinking. Yet the issue of Gay Marriage still evades us.

“Australians all over the world, apart from the Bondi boys and the cricket, you are known for Priscilla Queen of the Desert and the f***in Mardi Gras. Sorry for swearing. I mean really, just get with it. No-one’s going to think there’s anything wrong with Australia if they let the gays get married or have civil partnerships. Let’s get real. It’s a young country, come on,” he says.

Not usually prone to making headlines, Spence doesn’t mind giving an opinion is he believes in the cause, or those who should be hearing it.

“I have to get a bit of attention from Julia, with her bad hair and nasty suits, then there’s certain things that you do have to do to make her perk up her ears and get a bit of change in the country.”

Meanwhile he is gearing up for the fun side of Mardi Gras, his first ever. He promises a night that will be big on sequins, buff boys and nasty grrls -with himself somewhere amid it all.

“I’ll be in them, I’ll be on them, I’ll be over them, I’ll be around them, I’ll be splitting on them, I’ll be spinning on them. And that isn’t just on the floats, that’s whoever happens to be passing who looks quite nice,” he smiles.

“If someone walks past and they look hot I will be on them and in them.

“Especially the Bondi boys. There’s not much to get in, but I’ve fit two in a pair of Speedos before. There’s enough stretch in them.”

Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade airs live 7:30pm Saturday on Arena.
Showbusiness airs Wednesday March 9 at 7.30pm on Arena.


  1. Louie Spence was the most embarrassing thing to witness at Mardi Gra who the hell does this guy think he is, as a gay guy I cringed evertime this moron opened his mouth all he did was reinforce the gay stereo types, he completely ruined the broadcast with his stupid comments and as someone else said he’s just a badly dressed screamer, no thanks a total turn off, next year Mardi Gra you can do a Lot better than that has been, the guys not even funny and he can’t even dance except doing his backflips.

  2. Mardi Gras is irrelevant in these times IMO, and only seeks to cement the view of some that the gay community is full of mincing feminine queens. The “coming out” of people such as Ian Roberts and that English cricketer the other day does more for gay acceptance in the straight /mainstream community than 1000 mardi gras will ever do.
    That say, Louie Spence does crack me up PDS was a hoot!

  3. David, I agree Mardi Gras still has a purpose because of all the reasons you listed. However I still don’t think public nudity and simulated sex is necessary at Mardi Gras or anywhere else. Not to mention the amount of illegal substance abuse that takes place on the night.

  4. @ Josh
    So you think Gillard’s appearance makes Australia look bad. I am gay too, but I think some of the people who march at Mardi Gras are offensive and make Australia look much worse than Julia Gillard does. If women walked down the street exposing their breasts on any other night than Mardi Gras they would be arrested for indecent exposure. Same goes for guys simulating sex on the back of a float, totally offensive and unnecessary.

    • But it’s not any other night of the week. It’s Mardi Gras and it has context with a deep-seated history and political role. Those who are attending, as part of a public event are empathetic to its cause and unlikely to be offended. I actually look forward to the day we no longer need a Mardi Gras, but while there are disaffected youth in regional areas, suicides, partnership inequity, family rights, invisibility of older / ethnic / disabled gays and lesbians etc. it still has purpose. It chooses to communicate that as a celebration rather than taking a victim role. The best part of Mardi Gras has been the inclusion of heterosexuals, mothers, fathers, religious, politicians, police, etc. to keep reiterating wider acceptance.

  5. Louie the legend!!! Its about time someone pointed out what the government, and our new PM, is doing to this country (as well as making us look bad by the appearance of Gillard). Gay marrage needs to be legalised here and its about time the government realised they cant keep being homofobes. If they do, lets buy them all a one way ticket to Canada and they can see how they have been pro-gay for ages and for that they have become a great country.

  6. @ steveany
    I absolutely agree with you. While he may disagree with Gillard’s policies, it is not necessary to make negative comments about her personal appearance or clothing, it just makes him sound like a nasty queen. On the issue of gay marriage, I personally don’t want to get married, but believe that those who do want to get married should be able to do so. No government should have the right to prevent it. They give out baby bonuses to teenage single mothers though, such hypocrisy !

  7. I’ve got no idea who this guy is (nor does anyone else in the office BTW) but while I agree with him completely about gay marriage I’m a bit irked at his mocking our PM’s “bad red hair and nasty suits”.
    WTF is he to mock anyone’s appearance? To my eye he is a balding, ageing, desperately unattractive man with no discernable dress sense.

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