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Alan Carr accidentally reveals Paul O’Grady will serve as a guest judge on ‘Drag Race UK’

"Have I put my foot in it?!!"

By Will Stroude

Paul O’Grady serve as a special guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK when the series sashays its way onto BBC Three later this year.

That’s according to newly-announced judge Alan Carr, who seemingly let slip the news after his own involement in the British edition of the hit drag competition was announced on Thursday (14 February).

Carr, who will alternate with Graham Norton on the panel each week next to RuPaul and Michelle Visage, revealed that drag legend O’Grady would also be making an appearance during an interview with the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show on Friday morning (15 February).

“I found out that Paul O’Grady’s a judge on it, and so is Graham Norton,” he told host Zoe Ball.

“But isn’t it funny – no one said a word [to each other]. We’re all going, ‘Oh yes, did you hear they’re looking for judges on UK Drag Race?’, ‘Hmmm yes, I heard that.’ No one said a word. All keeping it secret!”

With no official word from the BBC as to O’Grady’s involvement as yet it looks like Carr may have let the cat out of the bag a little early, however.

Seeming to back-track on Twitter, the former Chatty Man host wrote: “I saw it on Twitter!! (I know) Hope he’s doing it!! Oh God!! Have I put my foot in it?!!

O’Grady rose to fame on the London gay scene in the 1980s with his razor-tongued drag alter ego Lily Savage before later finding mainstream success in the ’90s on TV shows like the BBC’s Blankety Blank.

While the 63-year-old was initially a popular choice amongst fans for a judging role on Drag Race UK, the entertainer’s involvement looked doubtful after he previously admitted he “can’t bear” the US version of the show.

“It’s all about shading and contouring your face now and being like supermodels”,  O’Grady said in a 2017 interview with Radio 4. “This new brigade who just parade around going, sashay, shantay – that’s not drag to me.”

He added: “Drag is doing an act. That’s dressing up. That [Drag Race] is transvestitism.”


While you wait for the eight-part Drag Race UK to hit screens, why not read our wish-list of the five things we want the British version of the show to serve.

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK will air on BBC Three in 2019.