Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines because Mama Ru is beginning her search for the first British drag superstar! On 3rd October, RuPaul's Drag Race UK will be landing on BBC iPlayer as ten new queens battle for the crown. And with so much charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent on offer in the UK (ahem), here are five reasons to get excited for the new series...
1. The SICK'NING celebrity judges
It wouldn't be Drag Race without Ru and his partner in crime Michelle Visage on the judging panel, so we're pleased to know they will both be returning for the UK edition. Joining the legendary duo are much-loved TV hosts Graham Norton and Alan Carr, who will rotate as regular judges.
And that's not all. Just like the US show, the regular judges will be joined each week by a sparkling array of celebrity guest judges including Andrew Garfield, Michaela Coel, Dame Twiggy, Cheryl, Maisie Williams, Geri Horner and Little Mix's Jade Thirlwall. You may also see some familiar faces as coaches this October. Musician MNEK, Strictly’s AJ Pritchard and his brother, Love Islander Curtis, will be guiding and training contestants through their various challenges.
2. ...Plus a dragulous line-up of Queens, hunty 💅🏻
God save the Queens! The ten hopefuls competing this year have already been revealed and, boy, are we in for a treat. The drag names alone do not disappoint, with gems such as Baga Chipz, Sum Ting Wong and - a personal favourite - Cheryl Hole featuring on the line-up. But who will be shantaying their way to the top this season?
3. A Snatch Game where we understand all of the references?!
Snatch Game is easily the most iconic challenge on RuPaul's Drag Race. For those of you who might be unfamiliar, Snatch Game sees each contestant choose a famous person to impersonate in a parody of the classic TV show Blankety Blank (otherwise known as Match Game in the US). Every series, the challenge has delivered nothing short of TV gold, whether that be through uncanny impressions or the cringeworthy failed attempts... *cough-Brooke Lyn Hytes-cough*
But imagine a game in which the queens mimmick quintessentially British icons. Think Gemma Collins, Kim Woodburn, Pat Butcher or Cilla Black. Now that, my friend, is what we call a match made in heaven.
One queen even hinted that she may be doing an impersonation of Corrie's very own Deirdre Barlow. So our expectations are high to say the least.
4. British drag = everything
“I am beyond excited to celebrate the massive charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent of the Queen's queens,” RuPaul recently stated. "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.”
You can already see how Drag Race UK is adapting itself to the British drag aesthetic and we have absolutely no problem with that. For the show to be a real success, it will need to embrace British themes and reference classic British comedy in its episodes. Soaps, Shakespeare, the Royal Family - we want the lot! We're proud of our gritty sense of humour and our diverse range of queens, and we hope that the show will celebrate this. Can I get an Amen up in here?
5. It's still the Drag Race we know and love
Whilst embracing British culture, the show will still follow the format of the US series we love so dearly. We'll still get to see the queens compete in the famous mini challenges that test specific drag skills, such as 'reading'. They will then take on the main Maxi Challenge, where they will be expected to perform, model in a photo shoot or prepare a runway look for the judges. And, of course, there will be a dramatic lip sync face-off at the end of each episode.