RuPauls Drag Race UK...not happening just yet.

There's been a good year of speculation about a UK version of RuPaul's Drag Race. Queens have been having minor breakdowns and histrionics at the thought of it happening It's not. Well not just yet anyway.

Rumours have been posted on various websites and fanpages but no official conformation has come from RuPaul or World of Wonder (who produce RuPaul's Drag Race). 

Whenever a 'source' revealed information, drag fans of the internet went berserk. Then a Twitter page started tagging every drag queen in the UK. Again, madness. This was followed by rumour that the show was coming to Channel 5 in September including a picture featuring British TV star and drag hag Jonathan Ross flanked by Michelle Visage and RuPaul. It didn't take much detective work to discover this was a load of cobblers.

1. The photo of Michelle is from her Celebrity Big Brother profile shot.
2. There is no way Ru would not be in the middle
3. Ru wears fancy dresses, not fancy dress.

A quick Google search revealed the same fancy dress sequinned union jack frock in the same pose. Someone has clearly been having fun with photoshop.

Again, you could hear the gullible shrieks of drag delight from Dundee. Finally a supposed trailer appeared, more hysteria.

Finally, Jonathan Ross revealed in Attitude (who themselves fell for the rumour) that while he had approached a few channels about doing a UK version, it hadn't been picked up yet.
Calm your shit down dears.

So why all the rumours and speculation? Whoever has been spreading title tattle as gospel, honey, the jig is up. You have successfully managed to make my facebook feed full of insane drag fans. You've done a magnificent job of winding everyone up but it's time to give it up. Do you work in PR or the tabloids? You really should. I commend you for an excellent rouse but maybe channel your talents into something worthwhile?

Why do I care? Well I write for World of Wonder who produces the show (I'm currently on #VisageWatch while Ms Visage, the lady of the big bassoms, is in the Celebrity Big Brother house) and have hosted the official UK screening of RuPaul's Drag Race for the past two years in London (and will be doing so again for season 7, details imminent). I'm also a bit concerned about the hysteria the show causes among rabid fans.

 I recently performed with Latrice Royale, have worked with Bianca Del Rio, Michelle Visage and have met a few of the Drag Race stars. Nice people, hard working queens, great performers. But the way some drag fans react to them is as if they are celestial beings. They all shit out of the same hole as you darling. They are drag queens who have been on TV. That's it.
Yes they're great but do you treat your local queens with such reverence? It saddens me to hear of incredible non Drag Race 
American queens getting zero tips from an audience, followed by Drag Race alumni who make it rain (even if they don't know the words and spend the whole performance begging). Tip the fierceness, not the fame.

And while I'm here, I'm sick of drag bores who “cluck”, “bitch”, “Mamma” and “hunty” themselves silly and profess to know everything about drag after only watching a well crafted and produced TV show. It'd be like saying you know about world politics if you only watched Fox News. No, no you don't.

Support and tip your local queens, they are as talented and incredible as the ones on TV. Most translate better live when you can actually smell them.
Please talk to them like they are real people (we don't need you spouting clich├ęs in our faces) and finally, don't be gullible or
 believe a thing until RuPaul Charles spills the tea himself.

x

P.S. I've been short-listed for Best Drag Act at the London Cabaret Awards!!!
Don't think I'll win but really is nice to be nominated, never mind short-listed! 



Why Harry Hill's Stars in Their Eyes is brilliant


New year, time for new Saturday night prime time TV schedule and ITV have brought us a recycled and pumped up version of 90s singing competition Stars in Their Eyes and it. is. brilliant!!!

I missed the first competitor (Kylie impersonator and dog groomer from Slough) as I was tuned into series 4 of The Voice on BBC1 (the format as dull and predictable as ever and new edition Rita Boreoff makes me sleepy. I'm sure she's a lovely girl but she's all PR, no product). Within minutes of turning over to 'Stars', I was excited.

It's glorified karaoke with added panto and doesn't try to be anything else.
The contestants aren't looking for fame, they want to sing a song, dressed and sounding vaguely like their pop idols and have their moment on the tele. The sketches and links between each song are typical Harry Hill;  a man arrives with a bag of smoke, there's a little chant about Slough, Adele's missing baby hidden in a sideboard, huge paper mache heads and the entire cast come on at the end to sing garbled lyrics over the theme tune. This is British working class entertainment and it's finest, most honest and most surreal.

I'm usually against format changing of good shows (Andi Peters destroying Top of the Pops for example)  but this is a bold and brilliant move from a station usually conservative and dull in it's programming.
Social media detractors have complained about Hill and his team destroying the format of the beloved 'so bad it's good' show yet this is largely from a generation of TV viewers used to a manipulated back story, forced tears and Ant N Dec or Dermot O'Leary looming around. Reality talent competitions are promoted under a guise for a 'search' for the next big thing. Yet with so many former contestants cast aside, the audience are now fully aware that the only winner is Simon Cowell.
In Stars, there's no snobbery, nasty critiques, chair turning or dismissing peoples talents. Everyone is celebrated.

Maybe its too clever for people who prefer to be forced fed how to feel with emotive Westlife key changes and clever editing but I urge you to jump on the celebration of  the absurd. Don't watch it expecting a credible array of talent. It's a daft, silly cartoon with a spot of karaoke.

Stars in Their Eyes 2015 is everything prime time TV should be. It's camp, ridiculous, funny and did I say camp? And hurrah for that being on mainstream TV.

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