Long live the queens

OMG! RuPaul’s Drag Race UK will air in 2019, but not everyone is happy

Drag Race UK

Buckle your seat belts, because in 2019 the TV network BBC 3 will air a UK-version of RuPaul’s Drag Race with 10 contestants vying to become “The UK’s Next Drag Superstar.”

The show’s legendary host RuPaul told The Sun, “I am beyond excited to celebrate the massive charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent of the Queen’s queens. And before anyone asks, yes, we would be thrilled to have Meghan Markle join us, as we are already preparing a ‘Royal-Mother-To-Be’ runway challenge.”

The show will be filmed in London and nearly identical to the American version, except with a few British cultural twists (and of course, local celebrity judges). It seems like Michelle Visage will join Ru as a judge, but it’s unclear whether or any of the other current Drag Race judges will join the UK version.

Related: It’s official: The cast of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars” season 4 has been Ruvealed

The real question for American fans is whether VH1 or the World of Wonder streaming app will ever air the episodes in the US — no word on that yet.

This UK version of Drag Race was actually long in the making. In August 2017, Visage told the DragWorld UK convention in London, “It’s going to happen, just don’t know when.” Now is apparently when.

This is actually the third international Drag Race spin-off. Drag Race Thailand hosted by Art Arya and Pangina Heals aired earlier this year. In 2015, Chile aired The Switch Drag Race. Its first season featured queens from Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, but its second season had queens from Japan, France, the US, Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Spain.

UK drag fans have already started talking about the show on Twitter.

It seems a handful of commenters are worried that Drag Race will dramatically alter the UK drag scene.

Drag performers in the US have complained that Drag Race has made it harder for local drag queens to gain recognition or decent pay (even if they’re massively talented). They say gay bars will pay thousands to Drag Race queens, leaving less money for local talent.

Also, Drag Race tours will often play at non-gay venues, neglecting the gay bars that helped cultivate drag in the first place.