Paul O’Grady has been confirmed to join the judging panel for Drag Race UK.
Alan Carr – who was revealed to be a regular judge yesterday alongside Graham Norton – let slip on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show this morning that there’s a third panellist who hasn’t been mentioned.
“I found out that Paul O’Grady’s a judge on it, and so is Graham Norton,” he said.
“But isn’t it funny – no one said a word [to each other]. We’re all going, ‘Oh yes, did you hear they’re looking for judges on UK Drag Race?’, ‘Hmmm yes, I heard that.’ No one said a word. All keeping it secret!”
Like Alan and Graham, Paul is the host of a popular talk show – The Paul O’Grady Show – which has been on air since 2004.
He’s also well equipped to aid RuPaul on the panel because he initially rose to fame in the UK with his drag alter-ego, Lily Savage.
However, Paul’s involvement with Drag Race does come as quite as shock, because in 2017, he slammed the series.
“No, I can’t bear it,” he said of the show. “No really I can’t. That’s not drag! It’s all about shading and contouring your face now and being like supermodels.”
Paul continued: “In my day we had the likes of Phil Starr, who was a glorious comedian… we had Marc Fleming, Auntie Flo, Mrs Shufflewick. We had great comedians in drag.
“This new brigade who just parade around going, sashay, shantay – that’s not drag to me. Drag is doing an act. That’s dressing up. That [Drag Race] is transvestism.
“Drag is an act, where you get up, you do your act, you get changed and you go home – you don’t parade round the streets doing all this business. I’ve no interest in it whatsoever, none at all.”
Michelle Visage was confirmed for the panel earlier this month, and while we never doubted that she would join Mama Ru – after all, she’s made no secret of her love for the UK – it’s great to have confirmation that she’ll be gracing our screens later this year.
“We’ve been working tirelessly to bring the magic of RuPaul’s Drag Race to my favourite city in the world: LONDON!” said Visage. “I KNOW the UK has a wealth of talent to offer and I’m thrilled beyond belief to see these queens battle it out on the main stage, UK style! GOD SAVE THE QUEENS!”
As far as guest judges go, there’s no word yet, but when we spoke to Michelle last year she told us that her dream celeb appearances would be Ab Fab duo Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.
We do know that when the werk room arrives on British shores it will be for an eight episode season, with each episode being 60 minutes long. You can find out everything we know about the new season here.
And if your knowledge of UK queens isn’t quite up to scratch, we’ve rounded up 14 of the best that we want to see on Drag Race UK here.