DRAG RACE UK: MEET THE JUDGES AND GUEST JUDGES REVEALED

Each week Alan or Graham will join RuPaul and Michelle on a rotational basis, alongside an extra special celebrity guest judge.


Delivering on judging eleganza the celebrity judges are: Liz Hurley, Sheridan Smith, Jordan Dunn, Lorraine Kelly, MNEK, Jessie Ware, Maya Jama and Dawn French.


Natalie Cassidy and Jay Revel join as special coaches for acting and choreography.



Graham Norton

First of all, pre-lockdown, what was like to be back on set?

Coming back on set for series two was just joyful. I was so excited to see who the Drag Queens were going to be, and it’s gorgeous to see RuPaul. I can’t tell you what that’s like to be sitting on the panel and then see RuPaul come around the corner, it’s almost religious. It’s like an apparition, a miraculous apparition when she shows up. She has an inner glow and beauty. You really feel like you’re in the presence of a deity when RuPaul glides down that runway.



What was it like returning to set?

Coming back after lockdown to finish the series was very odd. It was like ‘did I dream this?’ It was very disconcerting. It was a slightly out of body experience.


Do you think it changed anything in the Queen’s mindset when they returned?

After lockdown was interesting. Some of the Queens really stepped it up, and they were different. They came back, and they had a belief in themselves, and some of the other Queens stumbled. They overthought things during lockdown when they weren’t in it.


What makes series one different to series two?

It’s bigger and it's better. There are more queens. But again, what’s great is there is an absolute range. There’s baby Drag Queens who have done very little, and some much more experienced people. I had heard of a couple, but I’d never seen them do their act before. Although, lots of experience doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to fare well on Drag Race.


Michelle Visage

Series one was a massive hit - why do you think was?

Series one was a massive hit because we were waiting it. We were waiting to see whether it was going to be different to the US one, what it would it look like, and whether it would be properly British and show UK Drag in a positive life. When people saw that we were honouring it and that the girls were so talented, each and every one, it was off and running. I can’t wait for everyone to see series two.


How would you sell RuPaul’s Drag Race UK to someone who hasn’t seen it?

I think I would sell RuPaul’s Drag Race UK as a competition with tenacity, heart and spirit. I think when you watch other shows you know what they are going to get. When you watch RuPaul’s Drag Race UK it has got so much heart that people don’t expect. I think they expect to see these people dressing up in frocks, being as beautiful as they can be, but that is literally the teeniest portion of this show. This show is all about the tenacity of the human spirit, overcoming adversity, and being the best you that you can be despite the odds that are thrown at you. I think everybody walks away from this show not only feeling better about life, but also getting a few tips or two on how to style themselves, or not. It’s the most wonderful show on the telly.


What was it like returning to set?

Coming back to finish the series was actually something I had in my calendar and I couldn’t wait. I saw the lockdown lift in the UK and I was sooo excited. I was really excited to see how the girls changed during lockdown, and whether they had thought about their drag, changed their aesthetic or the way they look. I let my hair go grey in the front. We’ve all learned something about the world and about ourselves in lockdown, so I think it was approached differently, and it 100% reset the girl’s mentality on a lot of things. It was so incredible. We handled it so well if I do so say so myself. It was really well done. I am so excited for people to see this series.


What makes series one different to series two?

Series two is amazing because series one got off the ground and you saw what it was. So, I think the Queens that were holding off on series one thinking we might not do it the way they wanted us to, have not only seen that we’ve done it right but that it was a huge hit. The queens were so talented, and they got showcased the way they had hoped to be showcased. Even without a cash prize it was a huge, huge event for these girls, and so more people auditioned, and we had so much more choice, with more areas of the United Kingdom represented. It’s just really fantastic. It's longer, with more Queens.


I’d only heard of one or two of these Queens, so it was really nice to see new talent. That’s what makes me really excited, because I do I know a lot of Queens and I’ve worked with a lot of Queens. Whenever I see Queens that I haven’t worked with before it tells me that Drag isn’t ending any time soon.


Alan Carr

Welcome back to series two! First of all, pre-lockdown, what was like to be back on set?

It was so lovely to be back on set before the first lockdown. I was nervous, of course, because I’m such a huge fan of the show. I really don’t want to be the weakest link of it, and have people turn off thinking ‘oh I hate that Alan’. I was watching them all again in lockdown, getting some notes for when I was going back on the panel.


What was it like returning to set?

It was so weird coming back to finish the series because (no offence) I had sort of forgotten the Queens. Also, I put on so much weight during lockdown that I’m worried that when it goes from episode three to episode four it will look like I have been inflated, or that someone has tripped and pulled a cord out and I’ve gone as big as a dingy.


How will season two differ to series one?

This is true of many shows as people are always going to be nervous and think ‘we don’t want to be on the first show in case it’s a big turkey’, but as we know RuPaul’s Drag Race UK’s first series was absolutely amazing and a real ratings winner, so I think for series two we have got some Queens who know what they have to do to win. They’ve upped their game. Their outfits are better and I think they’re slicker. They know what they’ve got to do, and some of them really obviously want to win.


Series two of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK begins on 14 January at 7pm.

Interviews: BBC Press

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