TURNER Prize-winning transvestite Grayson Perry is joining former miners at The Big Meeting this weekend to make a documentary about masculinity.

The artist-turned-television presenter, known for cross-dressing as his female alter ego, Claire, is filming part of a Channel 4 documentary at Durham Miners’ Gala on Saturday.

He will be marching with the Trimdon Grange Banner, starting at Galbraith Terrace in the former pit village at 7.15am, accompanied by the Harrogate Band.

Mr Perry and a film crew leave Hopper Terrace at 7.50am for the traditional bus trip to Durham City to meet colliery communities from across the region for the biggest date on the labour movement’s calendar.

Neil Crombie, the double BAFTA award winner, who is directing the series for Swan Films, said: “Grayson is interested in the traditional ideas of masculinity that the event in some way celebrates.

“We are going to spending the day with the people of Trimdon Colliery so we will be going there first thing in the morning.

“Grayson wants to know what they do there when they march through the village with their banner and pay tribute to the former miners who still live in that community.

“We will spend the day with them in Durham. Grayson then wants to see the blessing of the new banners in Durham cathedral and he is particular interested in those folk art traditions.

“It is all part of a forthcoming series and he will be making a series of major artworks based on what he sees.”

Mr Crombie said Mr Perry, who was awarded the Turner Prize in 2003 and is well known for his ceramic vases, will not be appearing as ‘Claire’ at the gala.

Dave Hopper, general secretary of Durham Miners Association, said: “He has expressed a desire to film and meet people and talk to them and he will be interviewing them.

“It will be interesting. There will be a few raised eyebrows, I would imagine. “He is not the sort you usually see at Trimdon club.

“I don’t know what they would have made of him 50 years ago, but attitudes have changed over time.”