Fans are choking up at Drag Race UK’s touching tribute to ‘sister’ Cherry Valentine

Drag Race UK has paid tribute to Cherry Valentine, who died at the age of 28, at the end of its latest episode and on social media.

Cherry’s death was announced by her family on 23 September, the day after series four of the RuPaul’s Drag Race spinoff premiered.

Ahead of the season’s second episode, the official Drag Race UK‘s Twitter account tweeted: “Tonight’s #DragRaceUK episode is dedicated to our sister Cherry Valentine”, along with an In Memoriam slide.

The slide, reading “In memory of Cherry Valentine. George Ward. 1993-2022” was also seen on the end credits of the episode.

George Ward was Cherry’s name out of drag, and the name under which they worked as a nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fans have been reacting to the tribute.

One wrote: “I choked up a bit when Cherry came on at the end. Gone too soon & insanely talented. Love you Cherry.”

“And what a beautiful soul she was” said another.

A third added: “It broke my heart to see it! I still cannot believe she’s gone.”

Pixie Polite, who is starring on the current season, also reacted to the slide, tweeting to say the episode was: “For Cherry.”

 

The slate has also been retroactively added to the end of the first episode of the show’s fourth season.

The star, whose successful TV career included fronting the BBC Documentary: Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud, expertly taking down right-wing bigots, as well as her short but memorable run on Drag Race UK, has been remembered fondly by fans and loved ones since her death.

Traveller Pride described the news as “incredibly sad”. It also shared a lengthy blog post as a tribute to Cherry.

Friend and co-star from the second season of Drag Race UK, Tayce, also performed “Memory” by Elaine Paige as a tribute to Cherry during the final show of her UK tour.

“Memory” is the song the two queens lip-synced against each other to during their season’s second episode, leaving Cherry to sashay away while Tayce survived and eventually reached the season’s final.

Paige herself has commented on the video, saying: “It’s rare my own song brings a tear to my eye.”

 

Tayce and Cherry’s season two sister, Bimini Bon Boulash, also commented on the tribute, calling it: “Beautiful and so sad.”

Cherry Valentine’s loved ones have launched a fundraiser to hold a public vigil in honour of the Drag Race UK star’s lasting legacy.

The campaign aimed to raise £10,000 and has already passed its goal.

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