I’m size 20 and shouldn’t be paid to take my clothes off... but I am

Heidi 'Bang Tidy' Waddington as Gertie the Hapless Lion Tamer. Photo: Darren O'Neill

Heidi 'Bang Tidy' Waddington as Gertie the Hapless Lion Tamer. Photo: Darren O'Neill

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A SAUCY mum has stripped her way to victory in an international burlesque competition.

Heidi Waddington, better known as Heidi Bang Tidy, won awards at the Teatime Tassel-Off in Leeds.

The 37-year-old, from Cragg Vale, was up against 16 other performers from across Europe.

She won a pair of 5ft ostrich feather fans for her signature lollipop lady routine, which sees her play Brenda, a crossing warden who suddenly becomes passionate about her job.

Heidi said: “My burlesque isn’t traditional, Dita Von Teese, burlesque. It’s comedy burlesque, so it was nice to be recognised for that.”

Heidi, who runs accessories party business Something Frivolous, got into the art after going to a show in London for her 36th birthday.

She enjoyed it so much she went to Las Vegas for the Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend last June – the biggest event in the burlesque calendar.

After that, she enrolled on a beginners’ class with Hebden Bridge performer Lady Wildflower and made her debut at the Frou Frou Club in Hebden last October.

Despite having a performing arts degree, it was the first time she had been on stage for more than 15 years.

“Having done a lot of other types of performance it’s a million times more satisfying.

“The audience are really vocal, they clap, cheer and holler so that feedback is great.”

Heidi also performs in a troupe in Hebden Bridge and is working on a double act with Halifax-based performer Crystal Tips.

“Historically, burlesque is borne out of variety,” she said.

“What I do is neo-burlesque, which covers all kinds of things - narrative comedy performances, specialist circus skills like hoop work, fire work and aerial performances.

“It’s quite bawdy, quite near the knuckle and it’s really varied. I’m 37, a size 20 and a mum. I shouldn’t be getting paid to take my clothes off –but I am.

Heidi has a seven-year-old daughter, Tilly, and her boyfriend Rick Savage, 35, is her biggest fan and builds all her props.

She is also planning two big burlesque shows later in the year.

Bang Tidy ’s Great Big Burlesque Bonanza takes place on Sunday September 30 at the Ritz Ballroom, Brighouse.