Cybil War goes on Who Dares Wins in honour of 'stoic' SAS hero father

Drag queen Cybil War reveals he went on Channel 4’s gruelling reality show Who Dares Wins in honour of his ‘stoic’ SAS hero father who embraced his sexuality by watching him on stage

  • Mark Whistler – whose drag name is Cybil War – is starring on Who Dares Wins 
  • Show features contestants performing brutal regimen of SAS drills and tasks 
  • They must survive on just 800 calories a day on the Ant Middleton programme
  • Mark’s father served in the SAS and he went on the show to pay tribute to him 

Drag queen Cybil War has revealed that he went on the gruelling reality show Who Dares Wins in honour of his ‘stoic’ SAS hero father who embraced his sexuality by watching him on stage. 

Marketing manager Mark Whistler performs under the stage name Cybil War and is one of the contestants on this year’s programme.

The Channel 4 show stars Ant Middleton putting contestants through a brutal regimen of SAS drills.

Today 31-year-old Mark – who stands at 7ft when wearing his costume heels – told Good Morning Britain that he entered the show as a mark of respect to his father’s career in the elite military unit. 

He told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: ‘I did this as a tribute to my dad… I was a huge fan of the show from the first series and said you know what I’ll give it a go.’

Pictured: Cybil War on Good Morning Britain today, revealing the reasons he took on Who Dares Wins  

Mark Whistler (right) performs as Cybil War (left, with Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain) 

He added: ‘I felt like I had to prove something to my dad. We were eating 800 calories a day and had no sleep so I struggled with being back in the dorm never knowing when we could relax.’ 

Mark revealed that he felt he had to prove something to his father after the support he’d shown him when he came out as gay. 

‘I lived in New York for two years and experimented with drag,’ he said. ‘My dad is still the stoic army colonel. I tried to figure out how to tell my dad I’m gay. His immediate response was: “I like Dame Edna.” He was completely tolerant.’ 

Mark Whistler is pictured standing next to Susanna Reid, Piers Morgan and Charlotte Hawkins today on Good Morning Britain 

He told the programme this morning that the veteran plunged himself into the world of drag by watching his son perform. 

‘He’s very stoic so I didn’t really have a gauge of how he would take it,’ he said. ‘He watched me once and I think he would have been more comfortable in a war zone than an LGBT club on Halloween. His eyes were opened. He saw some difficult things that night.’

Mark, from London, has dreamed of going on SAS: Who Dares Wins for years. His father was in the Army from the age of 18 with a large proportion of that time serving in the SAS.

Left, Mark Whistler and, right, Cybil War, as the marketing manager joins this year’s contestants on Who Dares Wins 

His life revolved around being a member of the armed forces and SAS and although Mark is a different character to him, he would like to see if he has the same ‘fire’ as his father to pass SAS selection.

He explained: ‘My father was SAS so it’s something that I’ve always known about in the periphery of my life growing up but I knew nothing of it.

‘Watching the first four series of the show, it just became my favourite show and when you’re sat at home watching it, you think “I could do that” so I decided I had better prove I can.’

Mark moved to New York in 2014 with work, and discovered the drag scene, which opened his eyes to a different way of being.

It allowed him to build amazing relationships with people and embrace who he is as a gay man and create another persona – Cybil War.

Mark has two sides to his personality which he taps into, saying: ‘By day I’m responsible for how we position and package the company’s software and the training of the sales team to maximise revenue.

‘By night, I am the matriarch of a drag/artist collective. I am a club promoter, DJ, host and face of a monthly queer club night that is entering its third year regularly bringing together over 400 LGBT people.’


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