It was announced last week that one of the shows kick-starting Autumn this year will be the ever iconic RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. Now in its fourth series and armed with an ever-growing family of lavish and legendary drag queens, the show is set to take over our screens once again from Thursday 22nd September, and this year the North West truly reigns supreme.
The line-up features two Manchester-based drag queens, alongside a known and loved Liverpool legend who will partake in the programme alongside 9 other performers from the likes of London, Belfast, Sussex, Birmingham, Yorkshire and Brighton.
However, if you’re looking to get to know your local queens a little more before the show airs in a couple of weeks, let’s delve further into who they are, what they do, and why they could be worthy of snatching this year’s crown…
First up, gender divergent drag artist, Cheddar Gorgeous is a face that you’ll most likely recognise from the city’s queer arts scene. Using the art of costume and make-up, the performer has been a prominent queer Manchester figure for a while, so it was only a matter of time until they put themselves forward for on-screen drag stardom.
Named after the British landmark, Cheddar Gorge - a natural gem in the Mendip Hills - the queen has grown from club performances to cabaret and even TV, as they were part of Channel 4’s Drag SOS programme, a six-part structured documentary series exploring the power of drag as a force of personal exploration and community building. An emotive glimpse into the ever-confident world of drag, the show shone a spotlight on the power of the profession in helping those struggling with self-esteem.
You can expect a lot of campness and bold performances from Manchester’s queen bee, who, across their time has strived to bring something new to drag by exploring gender and class to create a range of looks drawing on drag’s punk ethos. They’ve also mentioned that they could be the only ever Drag Race UK star to hold a doctorate, too. We stan an educated queen.
Another queen flying the flag for the North this year, is the gorgeous Sminty Drop. Self-proclaimed ‘Manchester Mess’ the star is a one part of the House of Kendoll, who also produced Gothy Kendoll, the infamous first eliminated queen of Drag Race UK season one. Hopefully the odds will be a bit more in Sminty’s favour!
Known for being predominantly a ‘looks queen’, the party girl has perfected the art of face painting with an insanely striking appearance sure to get her far in the competition. Taking inspiration from cyberspace, Sminty is also fairly new to the drag scene with just three years under her belt.
There's nothing to worry about here, though, as her highly competitive nature may leave the other queens shaking in their boots, as confidence is most definitely key when competing in one of the world’s most prestigious drag shows.
Lastly, this year viewers are welcomed into the wonderful world of Danny Beard, Liverpudlian legend and non-confirming drag queen extraordinaire. Known for being a hugely entertaining cabaret performer, the 29 year old will be the first ever bearded queen to appear on Drag Race UK, bringing with them a huge career spanning performance, fashion, make up and more that's known for veering off the beaten track.
Combining the New York club kid aesthetic that’s cemented in flamboyance and experimentation with the tradition of old-school performance, Danny shot to stardom back in 2015 after winning the Drag Idol UK, which, back then, was the UK’s largest search for a new cabaret drag star.
Already a winner, baby, Danny has proven themselves to be an unstoppable force on the drag scene, well known, loved and respected across the UK.
The fourth season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK returns to BBC Three and BBC iPlayer on Thursday 22nd September 2022.