For those who are unaware of our British icons…
Earlier this week, the premiere date for the highly-anticipated British spin-off of RuPaul’s Drag Race was confirmed.
This October, ten sickening queens (who are yet to be confirmed) will sashay down the runway and compete for the title of Britain’s Next Drag Superstar for eight spectacular episodes on BBC Three.
“Oh my goodness, when they see this show, they are going to flip. And I predict that we will be doing this English edition of Drag Race for many years to come,” RuPaul said of the show’s future.
“I think also, audiences around the world are going to start to require the English version, because it’s different, it’s the same but it’s different. There’s a different tone.”
RuPaul will return as host and main judge alongside best squirrel friend Michelle Visage, as well as newcomers Alan Carr and Graham Norton, who will rotate every episode like Ross Matthews and Carsson Kressley on the American original.
Of course, they’ll be joined each week by a sickening celebrity guest judge who will critique the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent of the queens and their performances on the runway and in the challenge.
We’ve rounded up every guest judge scheduled to appear on the series and provided a bit of background info including how many chart-toppers they’ve achieved, Tony and Emmy wins etc – see below.
Known for: Dancer and choreographer
AJ Pritchard made his industry debut in 2013 with a widely-acclaimed performance on Britain’s Got Talent, so he knows a thing or two about being judged on a reality competition. He later joined the cast of Strictly Come Dancing and is confirmed to return for his fourth run later this year. “I am such a fan of RuPaul and was honoured to be asked to work on the UK show,” AJ said in a statement. “We had an amazing time working with the queens and cannot wait for you to see the performance.
Known for: Actor
British actor Andrew Garfield received international recognition when he starred in The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel, both of which grossed over 700 million at the worldwide box office. He later received praise for his roles in Silence and Hacksaw Ridge, the latter of which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Garfield also won a Tony Award for his role in Angels in America.
Known for: Singer and television personality
Cheryl rose to fame in 2002 after winning a spot in Girls Aloud, a girl group created through ITV’s Popstars: The Rivals. They went on to achieve a staggering 20 consecutive top ten singles in the United Kingdom, including four number ones. She later pursued a solo career and became the first British female artist to have five chart-toppers. She’s also known for judging alongside Simon Cowell on The X Factor.
Known for: Dancer, choreographer and television personality
Brother of AJ Pritchard, Curtis is known for his role as dancer and choreographer on the Irish version of Dancing with the Stars. He rose to prominence earlier this year after sashaying into the Love Island villa, where he ultimately placed fourth alongside partner and reality television icon Maura Higgins.
Known for: Singer
Do we even need to? Geri motherfucking Halliwell is one fifth of the most iconic girlband in history, Spice Girls, who conquered the pop industry in the late 90s with anthems such as Wannabe, Spice Up Your Life, Who Do You Think You Are and Viva Forever. She memorably left the band after their second studio album and earned four chart-toppers in the UK.
Known for: Singer
Jade Thirwall is a member of Little Mix, the first band to ever win The X Factor. Since their win in 2011, they’ve supplied us with pop anthems such as Wings, Move, Black Magic, Touch and Wasabi, and have sold over 50 million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful girl groups in history. Jade is a notable Drag Race fanatic, having recruited Willam, Alaska and Courtney Act for Little Mix’s music video for Power, so we’re v excited to see her on the judging panel.
Known for: Television presenter and journalist
Scottish media personality Lorraine Kelly is a national treasure in the UK. She’s presented for television shows such as TV-am, GMTV, ITV Breakfast, Daybreak, Good Morning Britain and her own self-titled morning show, which has been on the air since 2010.
Known for: Actress
Maisie Williams became an international icon with her role as Arya Stark in HBO’s fantasy drama, Game of Thrones, which ran for eight seasons between 2011 and 2019 and is widely regarded as one of the best television shows of all time. She received Primetime Emmy Award nominations for her work in 2016 and 2019. Maisie is set to star as Wolfsbane in The New Mutants, Fox’s 13th and final instalment in the X-Men franchise.
Known for: Actress, screenwriter, singer, songwriter and poet
After appearing in series such as Law and Order UK, Top Boy and London Spy, British performer Michaela Coel wrote and starred in the E4 sitcom, Chewing Gum, for which she received a BAFTA for Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme. She also appeared in two of Black Mirror’s most praised episodes to date: Nosedive and USS Callister.
Known for: Singer, songwriter and producer
Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and producer MNEK has written for pop icons such as Madonna, Beyonce, Little Mix, Christina Aguilera, Dua Lipa, Zara Larsson and Years and Years. He released his acclaimed debut album Language last year, which featured refreshing queer bops such as Tongue, Correct and Crazy World.
Known for: Television presenter, journalist and documentary filmmaker
Stacey Dooley made her debut in the entertainment industry as a participant on Blood, Sweat and Tears, a British documentary series that followed six British fashion consumers aged between 20 and 24 as they travelled around India. Since, she has became well-known for raising awareness for child labour and women in developing countries with a variety of social-issue themed documentaries.
Known for: Model, actress and singer
British model Twiggy was a prominent teenage model in swinging sixties London and was known for her androgynous style. After her modelling career, Twiggy enjoyed success on stage and screen, winning two Golden Globe Awards for her performance in The Boy Friend and earning a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut, My One and Only. She also had a brief stint as a judge on America’s Next Top Model.