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TV: Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK second season arrives

© BBC/World of Wonder/Ray BurmistoLawrence Chaney
Lawrence Chaney

After the UK spin-off of hit US series RuPaul’s Drag Race landed on our shores back in 2019, it was only a matter of time before we welcomed the next wave of UK drag queens to our screens.

Starting the year as we mean to go on, cries of RuPaul’s celebrated catchphrase “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else!” can already be heard echoing across the nation.

With series one seeing the likes of Sum Ting Wong and fan favourite Baga Chipz battle it out to be crowned the UK’s next Drag Race superstar, the second instalment of the drama-doused BBC Three favourite is likely to bring with it a slew of memorable moments.

Serving up their own unique brand of charisma, nerve and talent, the 12 new contestants making up the class of 2021 will be joined by returning judges RuPaul Charles, Michelle Visage, Graham Norton and Alan Carr, alongside a weekly celebrity guest.

As a result of Covid-19 forcing a break in filming, fans can also look forward to a one-off special in the form of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK: Queens On Lockdown, uncovering how the queens of the series spent their downtime.

Two of the stars of this year’s show are from Scotland. The first is 23-year-old Lawrence Chaney. Hailing from Glasgow, Chaney claims to hit every Scottish stereotype, including her adoration for Irn-Bru and Tunnock’s Caramel Wafers.

“I am a mix of Rab C Nesbitt and Susan Boyle! I take a lot of pride in my appearance,” remarked Lawrence. “I am inspired by worldwide legends Lady Gaga, Madonna, Michelle McManus! I also love kitschy sci-fi and horror nerdy things. I often look like some kind of alien out of Doctor Who.”

Meanwhile there’s Dundee’s most stylish export, 21-year-old Ellie Diamond who has been a drag queen for four years but only performed in the city once.

“I’m 6ft 4in out of heels, and in drag, I love to go even taller,” she said. “I like the biggest wigs, heels, outfits, lashes, makeup. I am competitive, but I’m hard-working too. I won’t throw anyone under the bus and I’ll definitely give it my all and do my best.”

One of the other contestants praised one of the UK’s modern drag legends as her inspiration. Liverpudlian Sister Sister, 32, is a master of dry comedy.

“I’m from Liverpool, where the drag scene is incredibly varied,” Sister says. “We have the grand high mistress, Lily Savage, who paved the way for drag queens everywhere, God bless her!”

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Thursday, iPlayer