· Updated on December 15, 2023
Example # 1,327 of why the Brits are doing TV better than us here in America: They have a long-running series called The Real Full Monty—inspired by the ’97 indie comedy—where celebrities strip for charity!
It’s basically Dancing With The Stars—except thirstier. Come on, why has no one made this happen in the States??? That’s TV gold, just sitting there for the taking
In any event, after a year off, the annual tradition returned to the British ITV network this week with The Real Full Monty: Jingle Balls, just in time for the holiday season.
As you might imagine, the special assembles an assortment of B to D-list celebrities and tasks them with putting together a burlesque style strip-and-dance-routine, all for a good cause: raising money and awareness for cancer chairities.
For this extra festive, two-part special, there were plenty of Santa hats, wreaths, bows and presents conveniently placed in front of the cast’s privates—naturally—though we are pleased to report the male stars weren’t shy about showing bum!
And, is it just the just the yuletide spirit, or does this edition of The Real Full Monty feel extra gay-friendly?
Oh, sure, there’s Gemma “GC” Collins, a reality TV mainstay so shameless and over-the-top she’s basically willed herself into “gay icon” status—because we love a daffy diva with now filter.
But Jingle Balls also offers up two specific pieces of man-candy who make the special well worth seeking out for any looky-loos out there: RuPaul’s Drag Race UK‘s Ella Vaday, a.k.a the gorgeous Nick Collier, and rugby hunk/noted LGBTQ+ ally Ben Cohen.
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
Ella Vaday / Nick Collier
Drag Race fans will certainly recognize Ella Vaday, one of the runners-up in the UK edition’s third season, where she showed off her performing chops and snatched a well-deserved Snatch Game win as celebrity chef Nigella Lawson.
Out of drag, the East London-born Collier has an impressive list of stage credits, including Wicked, Cats, The Book Of Mormon, and more. He’s also become quite well known for serving body-ody-ody—without the padding—and even recently launched a fitness platform called Fitti aimed at making home workouts “way less boring”
Honestly, Ella Vaday’s known for some sickening high-glam looks, but we’re grateful Collier’s got a “boy account” on Insta, too, so he can show off the goods even when he’s not stripping for The Real Full Monty.
And then there’s former rugby star Ben Cohen, a longtime favorite of the gays for his outstanding allyship and, well… looking like that!
Tee Northampton born athlete began his professional sports career back in the ’90s, and quickly became a star on and off the field—he was even part of England’s Rugby World Cup-winning team back in ’03.
Though he retired in ’11, Cohen’s never really left the public eye, thanks in part to his The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, an organization focused on combating homophobic bullying.
And, yes, he is straight—in fact, he’s engaged to his former Strictly Come Dancing partner Kristina Rihanoff—but Cohen clearly knows he’s something of a gay icon. After all, it was earlier this year he appeared in queer anthology series Patterns, playing an imaginary version of himself who comes to the aid of a young boy struggling to come out of the closet.
Between that, his appearance on The Real Full Monty, and his active Instagram page, Cohen sure knows how to keep his gay fans happy.