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Alan Carr talks about BBC Three’s RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs The World



We’re back and now we’re global for the first time in Drag Race herstory! How was it to see queens from around the world together in one competition?

It was such a buzz. Being such a huge fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, I’ve been watching it from episode one of the original US version, so I got to see some of my show favourites in the flesh that I watched all those years ago and here they are competing with queens I’d critiqued in the UK version. It was all very surreal. What an honour to watch the creme de la creme fighting it out.

What are the main qualities you think it takes to be Queen of the World?

I think you must really be able to do everything which sounds impossible but it’s true. You’ve got to look great, have a real eye for detail, flawless make up, have a bit of sass and wit and most importantly not settle for second best. Being Queen Of The World isn’t just about winning, you’re technically an ambassador and there is a lot of negativity and misinformation about drag out there so half the battle is trying to change people’s minds.

How do you describe your judging style?

Bitchy! To be fair, I only get bitchy when an outfit has underwhelmed me or someone has a bad attitude. It’s such an honour to be on RuPaul’s Drag Race so no excuses – your life is going to be changed if you’re on the show, let alone if you win it so why not give it your best shot. So basically, don’t piss me off.

What has been a particular highlight of yours across the previous series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK?

The highlight for me is after the series ends and seeing them all blossom into household names. When you see Tayce doing runway fashion shows, Bimini on the front of Vogue and The Vivienne, Baga Chipz and Lawrence Chaney on TV shows in their own right as stars, it makes you feel so proud.

RuPaul’s Drag Race is a global phenomenon, why do you think the show has taken the world by storm?

I think because you can enjoy it on so many levels. Firstly on a superficial level, you can watch all the pretty outfits or you just enjoy the bitchy campness of it all, or you can be moved emotionally by the personal stories where someone is battling HIV or has been made homeless by their family for being gay. RuPaul’s Drag Race is truly a triple threat.

How important do you believe it is to showcase the best of world drag to new audiences?

Drag is so much more than stunning outfits. Drag can be ironic, political, campy or arty. It’s an amazing medium to share your opinion and moods. I don’t think drag should just make your jaw drop, it should make your mind explode.

Do you have a particular country’s drag you enjoy the most and if so, why?

No! Good drag is good drag! Drag doesn’t have any boundaries.