Start your engines! Drag Race Down Under is sashaying onto the BBC – and soon

Drag Race Down Under cast

Start your engines, because Drag Race Down Under is coming to BBC iPlayer, it’s been confirmed.

The runaway train that is RuPaul’s Drag Race continues to gather pace, with the queen of drag heading Down Under for a brand-new series.

While we’ve known the series is coming for a while now, details on how UK viewers would be able to keep up with the latest stunts and shenanigans have been tucked away tighter than, well, you know what.

But, the BBC has confirmed it will bring UK viewers new episodes of Drag Race Down Under just hours after they’re released in Australia and New Zealand.

“Squirrel friends of the show can expect iconic high fashion looks, cryptic challenges, werkroom dramas and weekly lip-sync for your life battles featuring death drops galore,” the BBC teased.

“Viewers can look forward to even more shade and drama than ever before with an extra-large helping of Australasian pop culture and sass!”

When is Drag Race Down Under released in the UK?

Set your alarms and stock up on your preferred hangover cure, because the BBC has confirmed that Drag Race Down Under will launch on BBC iPlayer on Sunday, 2 May at 9am.

New episodes will follow weekly.

The series will see RuPaul and Michelle Visage joined by Australian comedian Rhys Nicholson, with 10 Australian and Kiwi queens competing for the crown. They are: Anita Wigl’it (NZ), Art Simone (VIC), Coco Jumbo (NSW), Elektra Shock (NZ), Etcetera Etcetera (NSW), JoJo Zaho (NSW), Karen from Finance (VIC), Kita Mean (NZ), Maxi Shield (NSW) and Scarlet Adams (WA).

The spin-off will premiere on TVNZ on New Zealand, Stan in Australia and Wow Present Plus in the US and other territories.

An Australian Drag Race was first announced back in August 2019.

After delays, the series was filmed in New Zealand due to COVID-19 restrictions, a decision which prompted fierce debate among Australian politicians. 

Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, executive producers of World of Wonder, said: “It’s a testament to RuPaul’s determination that we were finally able to film Drag Race Down Under. We are thrilled to be continuing our relationship with the BBC to bring the creative queens of Down Under to UK audiences.”

Fiona Campbell, BBC Three controller, said: “Following an incredible series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, BBC Three are delighted to be bringing another dose of Drag Race magic to UK audiences in the form of Drag Race Down Under.

“It’s another great opportunity for us to work with World of Wonder and I hope that fans enjoy this first series from Australia and New Zealand.”

Already, Drag Race Down Under has been hit by controversy.

One of the queens, Scarlet Adams, was forced to apologise after it emerged she had previously performed in Blackface and in costumes appropriating various other cultures.

Another, Karen from Finance, also issued ossued a “remorseful” apology after it emerged she had a tattoo of a racist golliwog doll, explaining she made the “uninformed, ignorant and regrettable decision” having had a collection of the anti-Black caricatures from the age of two. She has since disposed of the toys and had the tattoo covered.