RuPaul's Drag Race UK

RuPaul's Drag Race UK is a British reality competition web television series based on the American television series of the same name. The television series is produced by World of Wonder for the BBC and WOW Presents Plus. The show is the fourth instalment of the Drag Race franchise, and the second fronted by RuPaul. The show documents RuPaul and a panel of judges search for "Great Britain's next drag superstar", series 1 dubbed "UK's First Drag Superstar". RuPaul plays several roles on the show including host, mentor and head judge for the series, as the contestants are given different challenges to participate in each week. The show also employs panel of judges: RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Alan Carr and Graham Norton.[1] The series, a collaboration between the BBC and World of Wonder, premiered on 3 October 2019.[2][3] In November 2019, RuPaul's Drag Race UK was renewed for a second series.[4][5]

RuPaul's Drag Race UK
RPDRUK titles.jpeg
GenreReality competition
Based onRuPaul's Drag Race
Theme music composerRuPaul
Opening theme"RuPaul's Drag Race" theme
Ending theme"Rock It (To the Moon)"
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes8
Executive producer(s)
  • Bruce McCoy
  • Sally Sanders
  • RuPaul Charles
  • Fenton Bailey
  • Randy Barbato
  • Tom Campbell
Producer(s)Michelle Visage
Production location(s)3 Mills Studios
Camera setupMultiple
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)World of Wonder
DistributorWorld of Wonder
Original networkBBC Three (online) via iPlayer (UK)
WOW Presents Plus (International)
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
First shown inUnited Kingdom
Original release3 October 2019 (2019-10-03) –


In 2014, it was speculated that Jonathan Ross was in talks to host a UK version of Drag Race. Where he had stated that he was working on the version with UK drag queen, Jodie Harsh, along with Katie Price as one of the judges. However, production took a halt in April 2014, due to Ross having to work on family issues. A year later in 2015, Ross and Price assisted RuPaul in a one-off search of the "UK Drag Race Ambassador", which series one winner, The Vivienne won in 2015.[6] The Vivienne won a trip to the set of the American version of the show.[6] Production of the show continued, however again came to a stand still because TV show producers didn't think anyone would watch it. During Michelle Visage's time on Celebrity Big Brother, she said; "I tell you what, I could cast RuPaul's Drag Race the British invasion or the UK version in five minutes because there's so much talent over there. It's so different, the Liverpool queens, to the Blackpool queens, to the Mancunian queens, to the London queens. I'm not going to stop until [RuPaul's Drag Race UK] gets made. Trust me." Channel 5 expressed interest in broadcasting the show in 2018. However, in June 2018, the producers of the American version hinted that a British version of the show was in the works.[6] Fenton Bailey then confirmed that he, Randy Barbato and RuPaul had a meeting with the BBC and that “something is coming, be afraid - be very afraid. Nothing’s impossible.”[6][7]


Like the American version, RuPaul has several roles within the show including: host, coach and judge. During his role as host, RuPaul introduced celebrity guests, announce what week challenges the queens will take part in and reveal who will be leaving the competition. During his role as a coach, RuPaul offered guidance to the contestants through each challenge, as his role as judge will critique the queens on their overall performance of the challenge. The show uses progressive elimination to reduce the number of drag queens in the competition from the initial field of ten contestants (series 1), down until the final three, who will compete in the final challenge, and the final two lip-syncing for the crown. Each episode follows a format consisting of a mini challenge, a main challenge, a runway walk (where the contestants model fashion on a runway, usually with a theme based on the main challenge), the judging panel, a lip sync battle, and the elimination of a contestant.

Judging PanelEdit

A panel of judges cast opinions about the challenge performances and runway looks, first to the contestants onstage, and then again with them offstage.

Judges on RuPaul's Drag Race UK
Judge Series
1 2
RuPaul Main
Michelle Visage Main
Alan Carr[8] Main
Graham Norton Main

RuPaul acted as both the host and main judge,[9] with Michelle Visage,[10] Graham Norton and Alan Carr as supporting judges.[11] Guest judges in Series 1 included Maisie Williams,[12] Geri Halliwell, Jade Thirlwall,[13] Andrew Garfield, Michaela Coel,[14] Cheryl, and Twiggy.[15] MNEK and AJ & Curtis Pritchard served as guest vocalists and choreographers to the contestants during themed tasks.

Series overviewEdit

Series Premiere Date Finale Date Winner Runner(s)-up Winner's Prizes
1 3 October 2019 21 November 2019 The Vivienne Divina de Campo
  • A crown and sceptre
  • Star in their own digital series produced by the creators of RuPaul's Drag Race

Series 1 (2019)Edit

The first series of RuPaul's Drag Race UK began airing on 3 October 2019 on the BBC Three section of BBC iPlayer in the UK and World of Wonder's WOW Presents Plus streaming service internationally. The cast was announced on 21 August on YouTube and Instagram. Baga Chipz, Divina de Campo and The Vivienne made the final, with The Vivienne ending the series crowned the UK’s First Drag Superstar and will head to Hollywood to star in their own digital TV series.

Series 2Edit

The second series of RuPaul's Drag Race UK was confirmed and casting was closed on 15 November 2019.[16] Filming was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.[17]


  1. ^ Abbott, Kate (14 February 2019). "'They better werk!' Graham Norton and Alan Carr join RuPaul's Drag Race UK". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Michelle Visage is our ninth celebrity for Strictly 2019!". BBC. 5 August 2019.
  3. ^ "'RuPaul's Drag Race' launching U.K. version with RuPaul, Michelle Visage reportedly returning". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  4. ^ Earp, Catherine (7 November 2019). "RuPaul's Drag Race UK gets a second series on BBC Three". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  5. ^ "Shantay, you stay! Ru Paul's Drag Race UK renewed for second series". Radio Times. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d "RuPaul's Drag Race producers hint at a British version". Huffington post. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  7. ^ "RuPaul's Drag Race UK in talks with the BBC". BBC. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Alan Carr - RuPaul's Drag Race UK and Bullseye revival". Radio Times Youtube channel. 20 January 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Start your engines, RuPaul's Drag Race UK is coming to BBC Three". BBC. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Michelle Visage confirmed as judge for RuPaul's Drag Race UK". BBC. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Graham Norton and Alan Carr confirmed as celebrity judges for RuPaul's Drag Race UK - series to air on BBC Three in 2019". BBC. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  12. ^ "'Dame of Thrones: Maisie Williams confirmed as a guest judge for RuPaul's Drag Race UK". BBC. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Geri Horner and Jade Thirlwall join BBC Three's RuPaul's Drag Race UK as extra special guest judges". BBC. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  14. ^ "And, The Category is: British Acting Royalty! Andrew Garfield and Michaela Coel are totally gagged to be joining the celebrity guest judge line-up for RuPaul's Drag Race UK". BBC. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  15. ^ "And the category is: Pop Culture Icon eleganza! Cheryl & Twiggy ru-vealed as extra special celebrity guest judges on BBC Three's RuPaul's Drag Race UK". BBC. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  16. ^ Ashurst, Sam (2 December 2019). "RuPaul's Drag Race UK season 2 audition, casting air date, trailer and everything you need to know". Digital Spy. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  17. ^ Harp, Justin (18 March 2020). "RuPaul's Drag Race UK season 2 halts filming due to coronavirus pandemic". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 April 2020.

External linksEdit