Lads, start your engines…
We won’t lie hunties, we were starting to think that RuPaul’s Drag Race UK was never going to happen.
But on 4 December 2018, after years of speculation, it was confirmed that the cultural phenomenon to find America’s Next Drag Superstar will be opening up its werk room in Britain to start the royal line of British drag queens.
Because we’re we’re obsessed with all things Drag Race, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about the highly-anticipated spin-off, including the air date, guest judges etc…
Start date: when will it air?
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK will air on BBC Three in 2019. The channel released a casting call earlier this year, which finished on 14 January 2019. It reportedly started filming 1 March.
Damian Kavanagh, Controller for BBC Three, said in a statement: “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.”
World of Wonder’s Co-Founders and Executive Producers, Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, said: “World of Wonder Productions began in the UK, and the many Queens of England have always been an inspiration.
“Bringing RuPaul’s Drag Race to BBC Three is a very special home coming”.
How many episodes?
The first season of Drag Race UK will have eight episodes, all of which will be 60 minutes each.
Is there an official logo?
BBC recently unveiled the first promo image for the season.
On the official Facebook page for the upcoming BBC three spin-off, an edited photo of RuPaul in the opening credits of the series – in which he stands on the show’s title – has been uploaded as the main header.
‘UK’ has been added after ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’, and Mama Ru bears two flags in each of his hands: one reads “BBC!!!” whilst in the other she holds a large British flag. The queen’s crown can also be seen in the background.
Who are the main judges?
Unlike Drag Race Thailand, Mama Ru will be returning for the spin-off alongside Michelle Visage. “I am beyond excited to celebrate the massive charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent of the Queen’s queens,” said Ru.
She jokingly added: “And before anyone asks, yes, we would be thrilled to have Meghan Markle join us, as we are already preparing a ‘Royal-Mother-To-Be’ runway challenge.”
Michelle also tweeted: “guys. yes. of COURSE i am a judge…..i am THE judge!!”
On 14 February, British icons Alan Carr and Graham Norton were confirmed to join the judging panel. Like Carson Kressley and Ross Matthews, the comedians will rotate every episode.
“Becoming part of the drag race family makes me ridiculously happy!” Graham said in a video. “I can’t wait to see what the UK drag queens bring to the party, but they better weeeeerk!”
Alan also released a video to announce the news, saying: ““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!”
Mama Ru said she was “both shocked and delighted” when Graham and Alan told the Emmy Award winning host that they would be “wearing tucking panties when sitting at the judges table.”
She continued: “I told them it was not necessary, but they insisted. Now that’s what I call dedication!”
Guest judges: who’s set to appear?
Spice Girls icon and number one solo artist Geri Halliwell and Little Mix’s very own Jade Thirwall will appear as guest judges for the highly-anticipated spin-off, which will air later this year on BBC Three.
“I just love how drag encourages people to be exactly who they are,” said Geri. “This show has brought so much joy and pride to people all over the world, I can’t wait for everyone to see the amazing queens representing the UK in this first ever series.”
Notable Drag Race fanatic Jade, who recruited previous contestants Willam, Alaska and Courtney Act for Little Mix’s Power video, also said: “I love absolutely everything about drag. I love that it’s art.”
She jokingly added: “I love how fabulous it is, how fun it is, I love that you can transform your body into a fantastic beautiful woman… the whole thing! I just wish in my next life I can be a drag queen.”
British supermodel Twiggy, Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams and Girls Aloud member Cheryl have also been confirmed to judge one episode. “What I love the most about drag is the story of the drag queen behind the facade,” said Maisie.
“I think that so much of drag comes from a place of real pain and seeing how that transforms into a character is so interesting to me. I love that about art and about drag.”
Twiggy, added: “You see the most gorgeous women in the most glamorous outfits. I love the creativity of the clothes and the makeup. I have been to a few drag shows and they’re brilliant and fun.”
When we spoke to Michelle last year, she told us who her dream guests would be: “It’d range from music to actors. So many. We’d love the Ab Fab duo. The list goes on and on, there’s so many places it could go!
“You could go to the Lily Savage’s, to the… You know what I mean? You could go anywhere!”
Cast: who are the queens?
No one has been confirmed yet.
However, we do know that there will only be ten queens this time around, which is a little bit less than a regular season and is the exact same amount as the past three seasons of All Stars.
We recently compiled a list of 14 gag-worthy queens we’d like to see on the UK edition.
Will there be a second season?
The first season hasn’t even aired yet, but it looks like a second season is likely. Earlier this year, Mama Ru teased that there’ll be many more seasons of the British spin-off heading our way in the coming years.
“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.”
Explaining what makes the new version different from the American original, Michelle added: “There’s an English-ness, a British-ness about it, you can feel it. And I think that’s giving it a different life, and a charm that the American one doesn’t have.”
This article will be updated over time, so check back for some more sickening news on Drag Race UK.