RuPaul’s Drag Race has been a straight-up phenomenon from day one. Shining the lime light on drag culture and pushing it, front and centre, into mainstream entertainment where it belongs, I don’t understand where you have been if you haven’t caught an episode. BBC Three and Mama Ru caused quite the stir when it was announced in December 2018 that the UK would finally be getting its own spinoff, but have the UK RuPaul’s Drag Race queens been announced yet? There isn’t a single doubt in my mind that the UK version is going to be just as fierce, fabulous, and dramatic as the original U.S. version, but who should you expect strutting onto your screens in 2019?
Update: The official RuPaul's Drag Race UK line-up was announced on Aug. 21, 2019. It consists of Baga Chipz, Blu Hydrangea, Divina De Campo, Londoner Crystal, Sum Ting Wong, Cheryl Hole, Scaredy Kat, Vinegar Strokes, Gothy Kendoll, and The Vivienne.
Previously: As details are slowly being released about the UK version of RuPaul’s Drag Race I can barely contain my curiosity any longer. Who will be sashaying onto our screens for season one? Sadly, while BBC Three have announced that there will be ten queens starring this season, there has been no release of who they will be. I contacted a representative for the show at the BBC who told me “we haven't announced the queens or the launch date yet, but will in due course.”
However, Gay Times reported that filming began on March 1, which means that, out there, somewhere, the ten queens that I will inevitably become well and truly obsessed with are competing, posing, and being asked to lip sync for their lives.
In a statement, Controller of BBC Three Damian Kavanagh said:
“Needless to say, we’re delighted that BBC Three will be the home of a new UK version of Drag Race. It is one of the biggest entertainment titles in the world and anticipation levels for a UK version have been at feverish levels. With heart, humour and the un-imitable RuPaul, Drag Race is going to take BBC Three to a whole new level.”
While the RuPauls Drag Race UK queens are yet to be confirmed, the BBC has announced that Graham Norton and Allan Carr will be joining RuPaul and Michelle Visage as judges. To say I am excited about Norton's appointment is a massive understatement. In a statement, the legendary presenter said: “Becoming part of the Drag Race family makes me ridiculously happy! I can’t wait to see what the UK drag queens bring to the party, but they better weeeeerk!!!” It's like the role was made for him.
To add to the excitement, Carr said in a comment: “Wow! To be sat next to Michelle Visage and Mama Ru as a guest judge on possibly one of my all-time favourite shows EVER is a dream come true. I can’t wait to see what the UK Queens have got in store - it’s going to be sickening! *does death drop*.” I am literally overcome with anticipation.
The official start date of RuPauls Drag Race UK is yet to be announced, but it will air in 2019. The BBC has revealed that there will be eight one-hour episodes and, in statement about bringing Drag Race joy to the UK, Mama Ru said:
“It is a dream come true to extend our royal family to the United Kingdom with our partners at BBC Three. I am beyond excited to celebrate the massive charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent of the Queen’s queens.”
While there haven’t be any big reveals about which queens will be involved just yet, there is one thing you can know for sure: the announcements will be coming soon and they will be big. Watch this space.