Drag Race UK star Cheddar Gorgeous announces ‘radical’ career change: ‘A lot more quiet time reading’

Cheddar Gorgeous in a golden period costume.

The university library is open, darling! Drag Race UK finalist Cheddar Gorgeous has revealed that they will be embarking on a “radical” career change, and heading back to uni.

The non-binary drag superstar will join several other Drag Race alumni in swapping looks for books as they sashay back into education.

Earlier this month, fellow Drag Race UK star Bimini was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Goldsmiths, University of London, for their services to Britain’s LGBTQ+ community.

Meanwhile, back in March, RuPaul’s Drag Race season 15 queen Robin Fierce made history after holding a Drag Queen Story Hour at the prestigious Yale University in Connecticut. She was the first ever drag performer to guest speak at the institution.

For Cheddar Gorgeous though, their ruturn to university is a little more permanent. 

Writing on Instagram, Cheddar revealed that they had “finally caved to parental pressure and decided to become a grown-up academic”, and have recently begun a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Manchester.

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As part of their research activities, Cheddar explained that they’d be exploring “disability and the use of drag as a form of radical advocacy and collaborative self expression”.

“It’s a bit of an unexpected and radical life change for me but one that I always knew I would make at some point,” they wrote. “A little less crazy tour life, a lot more quiet time reading!”

Away from drag, Cheddar – whose real name is Dr Michael Atkins – already has a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Manchester.

A promo photo of Cheddar Gorgeous wearing her Queen Bee outfit and posing in front of a gold curtain from Drag Race UK.
Drag queen Cheddar Gorgeous. (BBC/World of Wonder/Guy Levy)

Though they’ll be spending their time doing more reading of the literal sense, Cheddar explained that they wouldn’t be leaving the world of drag performance behind entirely – they ended their post by teasing new music, a solo show, and a few “surprises” over the next year.

Even though Cheddar’s new role might mean they’ll be away from the traditional drag tour circuit, their fans are elated at seeing them thrive as they head in a new direction.

“You’re incredible,” wrote one fan. “So excited to see what you do with this achievement. I know you’ll do big things.”

“Fabulous, unexpected and absolutely you. Thank you for making this world a better place,” gushed another.

A third added: “Excellent news, you legend you! Congrats.”

Cheddar Gorgeous was a contestant on Drag Race UK season four, alongside contestants including Pixie Polite, Black Peppa, and Dakota Schiffer. They placed as a runner up, just losing out on the crown to winner Danny Beard.

Drag Race UK season five begins on BBC Three, iPlayer and Wow Presents Plus on 28 September.

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