Ilford man Mike Shorer raises cash - and eyebrows - in literal ‘drag race’ for Cancer Research UK

Ilford resident Mike Shorer in his Dolly Parton costume

Ilford resident Mike Shorer in his Dolly Parton costume - Credit: Archant

Mike Shorer’s big heart wasn’t his only plus-size feature as he crossed the finish line at North Weald Dragstrip for charity.

Mike 'Dolly' Shorer: All dressed up with somewhere to go (quickly)

Mike 'Dolly' Shorer: All dressed up with somewhere to go (quickly) - Credit: Archant

Dressed in a 52DD bra and eye-popping blonde wig, Devonshire Road resident and keen biker Mike raised £700 – and a number of eyebrows – for Cancer Research earlier this month with a sponsored “drag racing” event.

But in fact his mission to send Dolly Parton on a 100mph journey came about because of a misunderstanding.

“A business mate of mine didn’t know what drag racing was,” explained Mike, 55. “He assumed it meant dressing up as a girl and running around.

“I said: ‘It’s not really – it’s doing hundreds of miles per hour down a quarter-of-a-mile stretch.’

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“He said: ‘I’ll only sponsor you if you dress up as Dolly Parton’.”

So two weeks ago, Mike embarked on the least aerodynamic trip of his life, wig and skirt flapping in the breeze, and sweltering under layers of judiciously-placed padding.

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The designer said he’d nearly passed out after his third run – but in the end he managed 116mph as he crossed the finish line, even though the bra meant he couldn’t lie flat on the tank.

It was a break from the norm in more ways than one for Mike, who’s used to cycling from London to Brighton for the British Heart Foundation each year.

“Last year I came off and shattered my left wrist,” he explained.

“My wife said: ‘Don’t even think of doing that ever again.’”

So looking for a new challenge, Mike hit upon drag racing – though the idea of dressing up didn’t come until he began asking for sponsorship.

The cash is still coming in – but in the meantime you can watch “Dolly” in action by clicking on the video above.

And you can support Mike’s fundraising efforts by donating online at

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