Drag Race UK cast say most diverse season yet is perfect antidote to right-wing attacks on drag

RuPaul's Drag Race UK season four cast. (World of Wonder/Guy Levy)

Drag Race UK season four will be the best, most diverse, and most vital yet, its queens have promised.

The hit BBC series returns Thursday night (22 September), and comes after a spate of homophobic protests across the UK against drag queens reading books to children.

The new cast of queens haven’t been put off, though – they’re ready to show the world just how important drag can be.

Manchester drag legend Cheddar Gorgeous believes there is a “wonderful opportunity to challenge misconceptions of drag”.

“When you’re able to put yourself out there and show the diversity of what we do, that in itself is a challenge to those other narratives that you see being spun about drag. Don’t be mistaken, that is spin,” Cheddar told PinkNews and other outlets.

Cheddar Gorgeous (BBC/World of Wonder/Guy Levy)

Cheddar Gorgeous (BBC/World of Wonder/Guy Levy)

Brighton-based Pixie Polite agreed, saying: “I think the show has such a magical way of really crossing boundaries and divides. It really has helped improve queer visibility in the UK.

“Drag queens are increasingly getting a lot of flack, but because of that it’s more important than ever to be visible. It just goes to show how much progress we’ve made, that there’s this pushback is happening. So I hope this season is a very important cultural teaching tool.”

Drag Race UK season four is giving representation

Drag Race UK season three faced criticism, including from former contestants, about the lack of diversity among the cast.

It seems that RuPaul and producers listened. This year’s line-up includes more queens of colour, the first ever trans woman to appear on Drag Race UK, Dakota Schiffer, and the first bearded queen, Danny Beard.

Black Peppa, a Birmingham-based Caribbean drag queen taking part in the new season, said: “I’m just happy that we finally have a cast that looks like this because when I was young, I wanted representation.”

“Seeing the diversity of the cast this time around, it just felt amazing. Being in the Werk Room and looking around I was like ‘oh wow, this is fab.’ It just felt really nice seeing it.”

Black Peppa. (BBC/World of Wonder/Guy Levy)

Black Peppa. (BBC/World of Wonder/Guy Levy)

Le Fil, who describes their drag as an “androgynous, Asian and sensation”, agreed.

“Everybody is so strong and individual,” they explained

“We come from so many different points of view and from different sections of queer culture so it’s been a wild ride. I think for people to see and absorb all that is going to be really exciting.”
London-based afro-punk queen Baby spoke of how “honoured” they are to be part of season where people are coming from so many “different walks of life.”

Dakota said she felt “assured” that not only was the trans community represented, but many other communities too. 

People who see themselves in all the other queens are going to be represented and to see that was serotonin-inducing joy,” she said. 

Dakota Schiffer.(BBC/World of Wonder/Guy Levy)

Dakota Schiffer.(BBC/World of Wonder/Guy Levy)

Meanwhile for Starlet, the first ever South African drag queen on Drag Race UK, it meant a lot to simply be selected for the show.

I was very sheltered from the queer scene in South Africa,” she said.

“I didn’t know that drag was something that you could do and make a living off.

“I’ve not been introduced to the queer community just yet in South Africa but I found a few of them online. They’re doing viewing parties that they’ll tag me in and have said they’re excited to see South African drag being shown to the world so it’s really wonderful.”

Jonbers Blonde is only the second queen to be cast from Northern Ireland, after Blu Hydrangea.

“My heart is in Northern Ireland and to show representation from Northern Ireland is really important, especially because we don’t see that many people from here. I’m really excited for young queer people especially to see this other representation on TV,” she said. 

“Sexy cyberspace supermodel” queen Sminty Drop added: “I can imagine it’s gonna be phenomenal TV because  there’s never gonna be a dull moment. We’re all such strong, bubbly characters.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season four begins Thursday (22 September) at 9pm on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer.