Drag Race UK judge Alan Carr reveals how shutting down the werk room because of COVID led to major changes

Ginny Lemon in a yellow suit holding a tennis racket, flanked by two Brit crew wearing just Union Jack boxers

Alan Carr has revealed Drag Race UK fans will notice some major differences from the show’s forced production break.

Drag Race UK season two wasn’t immune from the pandemic – with production forced to shut down half-way through as the first wave of coronavirus shuttered, well, everything.

As superfans will know, season three of the American edition was shut down for three weeks following a mystery incident, so there is some precedent here. But as COVID-19 ravaged the nation, and with RuPaul and Michelle forced to rejig their busy schedules, the 12 new UK queens ended up taking a six-month break after the first few episodes.

The BBC has already confirmed that there will be a special episode mid-season showing what the queens got up to under lockdown, with fans speculating as to whether there will be any noticeable shift between acts one and two of the season.

According to judge Alan Carr, the answer is: kinda.

At a recent Q&A, Alan, Graham Norton and Michelle Visage explained how they were taken aback by the standard of looks this year. And for those who weren’t matching that high bar, the break gave them an opportunity to level up.

Alan Carr in a floral suit

Alan Carr returns as a judge. (BBC)

“You hope that in that break, they got to a sewing machine, they got the old needle out and everything,” Alan said.

“And I think when you come back, no spoilers, but there were some who’ve gone, right… They improved, they got better.”

Some, however, “thought, nah, I’m alright”, he added, laughing.

“Some of them obviously thought, wow, OK, the standard is that good – I’m gonna do something about it. So I was disappointed that some of them hadn’t done. But wow, the ones that had, mind blown.”

Graham Norton, Elizabeth Hurley, RuPaul and Michelle Visage on the main stage of Drag Race UK

The first episode sees Elizabeth Hurley join RuPaul, Michelle and Graham. (BBC)

Drag Race UK season two will have one other big change.

Alan said there was one other difference viewers might pick up on.

“Between episode four and five, I put on a lot of weight,” he laughed. “The only way I can describe it is, remember in the ’90s when there was thin Oprah and fat Oprah? Thin Oprah was on BBC 2 and fat Oprah was on Channel 4? I mean, you’re gonna go, ‘what has Alan eaten that week?’ Please remember there was a pandemic.”

Drag Race UK season two kicks off on Thursday (14 January) and in our review, we explain why it could end up being one of the best runs yet.