Start your engines, because RuPaul’s Drag Race is coming to UK. BBC Three is teaming up with World of Wonder to produce a UK version of the smash hit show, which seeks to crown one of the UK’s top drag artists the ‘Queen of Great Britain’.
A global phenomenon, RuPaul’s Drag Race is available in 193 countries worldwide (and on Netflix in the UK) and was nominated for a record-breaking 12 Emmys this year, winning both Outstanding Reality-Competition Program and Outstanding Host for a Reality-Competition Program.
“RuPaul a unique, intelligent and compassionate human being who has only ever encouraged all individuals all over the world to truly love yourself for who you are,” we wrote in our rave review of the show, which recently aired its 10th season.
Now, the first UK adaptation of the show is on the way, which will see 10 contestants take part in weekly challenges and face off against each other to keep themselves in the competition.
“It is a dream come true to extend our royal family to the United Kingdom with our partners at BBC Three,” says RuPaul says. “I am beyond excited to celebrate the massive charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent of the Queen’s queens. 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.”
Contestants will compete in individual or team challenges that test a specific drag queen skill before taking on the Maxi Challenge, the headline moment of each show where they may be required to perform, model in a photo shoot, prepare a runway look for a themed challenge before having to face the judges, with one contestant each week eliminated and asked to “Sashay Away”.
The eight-episode series was commissioned by Damian Kavanagh, Controller BBC Three and Kate Phillips, Controller, BBC Entertainment. The Executive Producers are RuPaul Charles, Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell, Sally Miles and Bruce McCoy, and the BBC Commissioning Editor is Ruby Kuraishe.
Damian Kavanagh, Controller BBC Three, says: “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.”
Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, World of Wonder Co-Founders and Executive Producers, say: “World of Wonder Productions began in the UK, and the many Queens of England have always been an inspiration, so bringing RuPaul’s Drag Race to BBC Three is a very special home coming”.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK will air in 2019.