Film to explore life of La Rue

The life of late variety show veteran Danny La Rue is to be dramatised in a new film.

The entertainer, a female impersonator who went from being a nightclub turn to a household name, died in 2009 at the age of 81.

The project is being developed from a screenplay by Martyn Hesford, who wrote the BBC4 biopic of Kenneth Williams, Fantabulosa!.

La Rue - who was born Daniel Patrick Carroll - was once described by Bob Hope as "the most glamorous woman in the world".

He was hailed as a ground-breaking star as he took his drag act into the mainstream and was the first female impersonator to perform for the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance.

The film will look at key moments during his life and examine his "complex web of relationships" with his manager and partner Jack Hanson and his close companion and costume designer Annie Galbraith.

Production company Leopardrama has the backing of the BFI Film Fund.

Executive producer Joey Attawia said: "Danny was a ground-breaking entertainer and a vital part of contemporary British popular history, which until now has been overlooked.

"He had a huge cultural and social impact in making the unacceptable acceptable and blazed the trail for the likes of David Bowie and Boy George.

La Rue made his name as a cabaret star before opening his own nightclub in 1964, attracting more than 13,000 members. He went on to star in a string of hit West End shows and was a regular on TV shows such as The Good Old Days.