When is RuPaul’s Drag Race UK released? Start date, guest judges and contestants

Meet the ten acts hoping to be crowned the UK's next drag superstar

Drag Race UK contestants

Gentlemen, start your engines, and may the best UK queen win: RuPaul’s Drag Race is set to shantay onto British screens in 2019, with ten home-grown acts fighting to be crowned our next drag superstar.

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But who exactly will be competing in the first UK series in herstory? When is the contest on TV? And who will judge the drag queen extravaganza? Tuck into all the need-to-know info below…

When is RuPaul’s Drag Race UK on TV?

The BBC has Ru-vealed that the series will start on 3rd October 2019 at 8pm, exclusively on BBC Three via BBC iPlayer. Episodes will be available weekly from 8pm every Thursday on BBC iPlayer.

Is there a trailer?

That there is! Watch RuPaul and her cohort of queens in action in the first look trailer, released on Twitter.

How can I watch RuPaul’s Drag Race UK on TV?

You can watch RuPaul’s Drag Race UK on BBC Three via BBC iPlayer. At the moment, the BBC say the show will only be available to watch online.

For now you can watch the first look trailer:

Who are the contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK? How many will there be?

The first series of Drag Race UK will see ten queens competing against each other.

From left to right, they are…

Drag Queens
  • Divina De Campo (age 35) – Known as a singing queen, Divina has already appeared on The Voice UK and was a judge on BBC1’s All Together Now.
  • Baga Chipz (age 29) – The “tart with a heart” comedy queen is a huge Coronation Street fan and does an AMAZING impression of Deirdre Barlow.
  • Crystal (age 34) – This “freak show” queen studied costume design at university. And if you’re wondering about her accent: she’s originally from Canada.
Drag Race UK contestants
  • The Vivienne (age 27) – Describing herself as “a scouse wife who has come into money, moved to LA and blew it all and then had to move back to Liverpool”, Vivienne can pull off a mean Kim Woodburn impression.
  • Cheryl Hole (age 25) – Yes, she’s a parody of Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Cole – the same Cheryl who’s set to appear as a guest judge this series.
  • Blu Hydrangea (age 23) – The Belfast-born queen says she’s a “GCSE art project, high fashion from outer space, a cartoon character – with muppet realness.”
Drag Race contestant shots
  • Scaredy Kat (age 20) – The youngest queen in this year’s competition, Scaredy is bisexual and got into drag thanks to her girlfriend.
  • Vinegar Strokes (age 34) – Another comedy queen, Vinegar has performed on the West End alongside Drag Race judge Michelle Visage.
  • Gothy Kendoll (age 21) – Modelling herself on Grace Jones and Annie Lennox, Gothy studied drag at university – and can “pretty much sew anything”.
  • Sum Ting Wong (age 30) – The singing queen is looking to inspire any young British Asians watching.

You can find more about them here.

Who are the judges on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK?

RuPaul Charles

Premiere Of Netflix's "Girlboss" - Arrivals
Mother of the modern drag contest RuPaul Charles will be the show’s head judge. He’s taken this role across 11 seasons of the US version.

RuPaul’s first dose of fame came in 1989 where he appeared as an extra in the video for Love Shack by The B-52’s. He became better known after releasing the dance album Supermodel of the World in 1993.

RuPaul then developed a career as a drag model before landing a talk show, The RuPaul Show, on VH1 in 1996. RuPaul has also appeared in The Brady Bunch Movie, Saturday Night Live and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.

In 2008 he hosted the first series of RuPaul’s Drag Race in the US.

Michelle Visage

michelle-visage

A friend of RuPaul since the 1980s, Visage first found fame with R&B group Seduction – enjoying a hit with Two Make It Right – before landing a track on the Bodyguard soundtrack.

In 2015 she competed in the UK’s version of Celebrity Big Brother, finishing in 5th place. And in 2018, Visage appeared on The X Factor as a guest judge at Simon Cowell’s house.

Graham Norton and Alan Carr

drag Race judges

The two chat show hosts will be the rotating resident judges on the show. Both of them, however, will appear as judges for the competition’s final episode.

While Norton has already appeared on Drag Race – featuring as a guest judge on the US’s RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars season two – Alan Carr has interviewed RuPaul on his chat show Alan Carr: Chatty Man.

Who are the guest judges on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK?

The BBC has announced the following stars will join the panel for an episode each:

  • Spider-man star Andrew Andrew Garfield
  • Chewing Gum creator Michaela Coel
  • Game of Thrones actor Maisie Williams
  • Little Mix singer Jade Thirlwall
  • The Spice Girls’ Geri Horner 
  • Singer Cheryl
  • Model Twiggy

You can find out more about them here.

Who are the coaches on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK?

Dance

As with its American counterpart, the British Drag Race will see our queens attempt to slay a series of challenges, guided by a few more famous faces.

By the looks of things, we can expect a dance challenge this year, with Strictly favourite AJ Pritchard and his Love Island brother Curtis on hand to make sure our hopefuls’ dance and choreography is on point.

“I am such a fan of RuPaul and was honoured to be asked to work on the UK show.  We had an amazing time working with the queens and cannot wait for you to see the performance,” AJ said of his appointment.

Curtis added, “I jump at the chance of working with my brother anytime anything together comes up, so doing that and being asked to be part of something so iconic was a yes from me!”

A singing challenge is also on the cards, as BRIT and Grammy award-winning MNEK will be on hand to coach our contestants.

“I had so much fun working with the queens on Drag Race UK!” he said. “The public is in for a real treat.”

What does the Werk Room look like?

Pink! Mirroring the US show, the UK Queens will prepare their drag in a bright candy-floss-coloured workroom, one decorated with many portraits of Mamma Ru.

Will there be a Snatch Game on the UK series?

Yes! There will be an episode where the queens will be invited to showcase their best celebrity impersonations. And, better still, it will feature two real stars, with Stacey Dooley and Lorraine Kelly set to join the Blankety Blank parody.

Drag Race
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A new episode of Drag Race UK is available to watch on BBC iPlayer, 8pm each Thursday