RuPaul, Graham Norton, Michelle Visage and Alan Carr.

The TV presenters will be on the judging panel to decide the UK’s Next Drag Superstar. ‘It’s going to be sickening’, they say

British TV presenters Graham Norton and Alan Carr have confirmed that they will be sashaying their way on to the judging panel of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, bringing with them their distinct ‘charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent’.

The pair join RuPaul and Michelle Visage as the judges of the reality show’s UK spinoff, which will search out Britain’s most fabulous drag queens and is set to air on BBC Three later this year. Norton and Carr will rotate each week, being joined by an additional celebrity guest, with both appearing in the finale to crown the UK’s Next Drag Superstar.

Norton is a long-time fan of the show, and has previously appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars season two in the US in 2016. “Becoming part of the Drag Race family makes me ridiculously happy. I can’t wait to see what the UK drag queens bring to the party, but they better weeeeerk!!!” he said in a statement.

Carr added: “Wow! To be sat next to Michelle Visage and Mama Ru as a guest judge on possibly one of my all-time favourite shows EVER is a dream come true. I can’t wait to see what the UK Queens have got in store – it’s going to be sickening! *does death drop*.”

Carr has been a fan of RuPaul ever since the 59-year-old drag queen appeared on his chat show Alan Carr’s Chatty Man, where he discussed the show’s popularity: “The show is a success because you get to see that when you have a dream it really cannot be held down, and it inspires the audience. These kids have been up against everything you can imagine, and doing drag in a male-dominated culture is an act of treason really. So they’re my heroes.”

After the BBC announced the news, RuPaul said: “I was both shocked and delighted when Graham and Alan told me they’d be wearing tucking panties when sitting at the judges’ table. I told them it was not necessary, but they insisted. Now that’s what I call dedication!”

Drag Race has become a global smash-hit, airing in 193 countries, although every network in the US bar one turned it down initially. The US edition has gained a huge cult following and has been nominated for a record-breaking 23 Emmy awards. However, the show was criticised by drag queen, trans and LGBTQ communities for a lack of trans-inclusivity, after RuPaul told the Guardian he would “probably not” let a trans woman appear as a competitor. RuPaul later apologised for his comments.