When the BBC and World Of Wonder (the production company behind RuPaul’s Drag Race) announced they’d be bringing the beloved reality competition series across the pond, there was no question that the queens of the United Kingdom would be putting their best stiletto’d foot forward. After all, they’ve been watching their American sisters strut, lip sync, and tongue pop their way to fame for over a decade now. As the spotlight turned to the premiere of Drag Race UK, the real question was how these drag queens would set themselves apart in their inaugural season. The answer? Aside from a healthy dose of “tuppence” flashing and regional lingo, there are actually more similarities than differences between the two series. That’s according to Drag Race executive producers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, who recently shared with us their own histories with drag in the United Kingdom, and explained why they knew the British iteration of the series was destined for greatness. And though Bailey had to step out early, Barbato stuck around to tell us about the fun the UK’s guest judges brought to the table. Barbato also dove into drag’ increasing prominence in mainstream culture, and how he hopes interest in Drag Race helps elevate the platform for drag queens across the world.
New episodes of Drag Race UK premiere weekly on BBC Three in the U.K. Stateside Drag Race fans can catch up with the series Fridays on Logo, or WOW Presents Plus subscribers can follow along day-and-date on the streaming service.