While there were initial concerns on whether RuPaul’s Drag Race would necessarily translate well over here in the UK, it’s safe to say the British version of the show has been a mother-tucking triumph.
This series has been everything fans of the show wanted it to be and more with a fabulous cast of queens showcasing their “charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent” in front of Mama Ru and her right-hand woman Michelle Visage. While sticking rigidly to its tried-and-tested format, our uniquely dry, British sense of humour has shone through thanks to inspired turns by Graham Norton and Alan Carr (and a less-said-the-better appearance from Geri Horner).
With so much love for the British line-up, and the show retaining its fierce, filthy and frankly fantastic sense of humour that made it so beloved in the first place, it’s no surprise the show is shantay-you-staying for series two.
But after such a stellar debut, it seems only fitting the second series is given the attention it deserves over on BBC One.
The show has proven it can plunge headfirst into the British zeitgeist, and the talents of our OG queens from series one deserve to be the attention of a mainstream audience, as opposed to a weekly iPlayer drop at 8pm. The perfectly picked cast for series one have done the UK proud with their razor sharp wit, endless memeable content and genuinely jaw-dropping runway routines (The Vivienne, we salute you and your nose). Baga Chipz is truly a stand-out queen of the series, whether she takes the top crown or not, instantly winning her way into our hearts with her growl of “much bettah!” from the Downton Draggy challenge.
We may love Drag Race UK for just how outlandish and gaudy our cast and their challenges are, but the show is not without its genuinely tender and heart-warming scenes, which makes the show a far more powerful and nuanced watch when compared to more mainstream talent shows.
Sum Ting Wong’s candid explanation about her sexuality while coming from an immigrant background, while Davina de Campo’s impassioned and tearful discussion of the impact Thatcher’s Section 28 had on her life were both highly emotional and informative. While it may dress itself up as some camp, silly fun, Drag Race has allowed cis-gender and non-queer viewers to get a more nuanced understanding of the LGBT+ community – something that could pack even more of a punch should it be on a mainstream channel.
That being said, while Drag Race UK deserves to make that jump to BBC One, it needs to continue in its exact form. Sexual jokes and filthy acronyms may not immediately be to BBC One’s loftier tastes, but the show would not be half as likeable should it lose its outrageous streak.
With 6.5 million iPlayer requests, and with the cast entering the UK Official Charts after the girl band challenge, there’s clearly a hungry appetite for Drag Race, which should serve it in good stead as it more than deserves to sashay away from streaming and onto mainstream television.
Now let the music play.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK is released weekly on Thursdays at 8pm on BBC iPlayer