‘Ian McKellen did drag’ - Will & Grace’s Eric McCormack recalls Elton John and David Furnish’s stag do

Virgin Radio

15 Mar 2024, 12:26

Eric McCormack talks to Chris Evans at Virgin Radio

Eric McCormack has told Chris Evans all about being a guest at Elton John and David Furnish’s stag party and wedding, and also about attending their famed Oscars parties.

The Will & Grace star joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with webuyanycar ahead of starring in a brand new musical in concert; Wild About You in London. While chatting to Chris, he spoke about his friendship with David Furnish, which goes way back.

“One of my best friends from high school is David Furnish,” he said. “For 25 years now, I've gone to David and Elton's party that is raising money for the AIDS Foundation, and it's always great. It's a little Groundhog Day, if you go every year. It's the same party, but it's so reliably wonderful. This year, over $10 million was raised. So it's always a big event. 

“You're supposed to watch the show on big screens. No-one watches it. Everyone just drinks and I always end up beside Heidi Klum, which is not a hardship.”

When Chris asked what the fanciest event he has ever been been to was, he replied: “It was Elton and David's wedding. I sang at their bachelor party in a Soho nightclub the night before. I sang a dirty song. Ian McKellen did drag. It was pretty great. I remember walking in, I just flown over and I walked into this very seedy daytime, like 11 in the morning, club in Soho, which hadn't been cleaned up from the night before yet. And yet the music seemed to still be playing. It was Pet Shop Boys. And then I looked over at the stage and it was actually the Pet Shop Boys rehearsing for their song that they were going to do with the bachelor party!”

He continued: “But the next night was the wedding. And it was coaches, and it was just insane. And my friend Helga and I, she was also in class with David and I 40 years ago, we walk up and we walk into their Windsor home and the first person I see is Elvis Costello. We'd met one time before I'm staring and he goes, ‘Oh, Hello Eric. You know George,’ and it was George Martin! And I went ‘No, no I don't. I haven't met George’ And it just got fancier from there.” 

Recalling more celebrity encounters, Eric said: “There was a huge charity concert in Vegas that I was asked to be part of. And afterwards, late hours, I sat with Robin Williams and Dennis Miller, and just listened to them talk. And I barely said anything. And Robin was just so sweet and so funny and so complimentary.

“There are certain people that knock me out in terms of they don't have to be. I did something with Paul McCartney in LA, and he came up and I was trying to just put words in a certain order so that they made sense. And he was like, ‘Oh, I used to watch Will and Grace with my daughter. And I love the new show. What's it called, Perception?’ The fact that Paul McCartney knew perception, but would say something nice about it. And I just said, “Beatles were great…’ He was so generous. And I think that's what I'm always amazed by, is when the big ones are as generous as they could possibly be.”

Eric stars in the world premiere of a new musical in concert; Wild About You, taking place at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane on the 25th and 26th March. He told Chris: “My co stars in the show are like West End vets. They sort of stumble out of bed and sound brilliant. And I just flew in. It was Oscar weekend last week and there's always a bunch of parties and then I get on a plane, so I'm a little rough. I'll get there!”

And on the potential future of the new show, he said: “I think this could be for further West End, or it could be for Broadway. It's just getting a taste of, does it work for an audience? Are they following it? Do they love it?”

Wild About You - Musical In Concert is at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 25th and 26th March. Tickets are available now via lwtheatres.co.uk.

For more great interviews listen to The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with webuyanycar weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.