It’s the first time an international artist has taken on the role and Clary, who is bringing a new show exclusively to Adelaide, says he leapt at the job opportunity.
“I’ve never been an ambassador for anything before so I feel terribly important,” he said.
“Being responsible is of course a little out of my comfort zone, but the idea of being an ambassador is quite camp. I’m picturing some sort of dazzling crown and sceptre number like one of the royals … but I’m much nicer than Kate Middleton I promise.
“Joking aside, I’m really quite honoured.”
Famous for his fabulous costumes and outrageous innuendo, Clary’s career began on the UK stand-up scene in the early 1980s. He’s been a regular fixture on both stage and screen for more than thirty years but hasn’t performed live in Adelaide for close to a decade.
His appointment as the first international Ambassador is a move the Fringe’s Artistic Director, Heather Croall is hoping will boost the festival’s profile both interstate and overseas.
“We’re really working on getting the English festival goers to Adelaide for Fringe and Julian is the perfect person to lure that audience,” she said.
“The Adelaide Fringe is a world-class event and boosting tourism will not only help the city but also our artists, so it’s a huge priority for us.”
It’s not the first time Clary has been suggested for the role.
“I did hear rumours that I was being mentioned a while ago, but this is the first time I’ve actually been asked and it wasn’t something I had to think about at all,” he said.
“For a Brit, spending February and March in Australia is a dream.”
Clary will also be debuting his brand new show The Joy Of Mincing.
“It’s the world premiere you’re getting, I’ve done the first half at a comedy festival a few months ago, but I’ll be debuting it in Adelaide and I’m not doing it anywhere else in Australia.
“Mincing has always been a derogatory term, but I think it needs to be reclaimed. I am a proud mincer.
“My shows aren’t anything deep, they’re basically a load of nonsense, but people seem to enjoy them.”
Meanwhile Trouser Bar, a gay porn film based on a screenplay written by the late Sir John Gielgud has finished production, despite opposition from his estate.
The film stars Clary and Nigel Havers amongst others.