Trans Britain boy model Trans Britain

The Extraordinary Life of April Ashley review – the trans icon steals the limelight yet again

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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.

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