April Ashley, this is the way to frame a documentary about her – through other people’s eyes. For Simon Callow, who always says (and enunciates) it best, his beloved friend – the model, London socialite and restaurateur who was among the first to undergo gender realignment surgery – was “a self-made woman in the most literal sense”.
When Ashley came to his house for supper or parties: “It was like meeting a character from a novel … She was queenly. She had exquisite manners and diction.
And behind that magnificent exterior there was a scouse fighter. ”For Boy George: “It wasn’t drag. April was a woman. ” Grayson Perry, who briefly dated her, remembers walking into a party in 1983 and “there was April Ashley in all her glory … Seductive.