Drag Race fans rejoice, the BBC’s most fabulous reality show is returning to iPlayer this September. Ruled over by Drag legend Ru Paul, this glitz and glam series follows 12 of the best UK Drag Queens as they compete for the crown.
The queens will be put through their paces each week, with a range of makeup, runway and performance challenges. They must impress Mamma Ru, regular judge Michelle Visage, Graham Norton and Alan Carr – on a rotational basis – and a special guest celebrity judge.
Series three has already made history by featuring the first cis female performer, Victoria Scone. She will compete alongside series two’s Veronica Green, London’s Vanity Milan, 23-year-old River Medway, 26-year-old Scarlett Harlett and Birmingham-born and bred Kitty Scott Claus.
Joining these six are Krystal Versace, Elektra Fence, Charity Kase, Choriza May, Anubis and Ella Vaday – here’s everything you need to know about Ella.
Who is Ella Vaday in Drag Race UK season 3?
The 32-year-old Drag Queen from Dagenham, Essex describes herself as the drag equivalent of the ‘Beast from the East’. She continues: “I’m like a desperate housewife of Dagenham. A yummy mummy – a bit garish, a bit classy, a bit Essex-y.”
We can expect a sarcastic, cheeky and dry sense of humour from Ella, who has a very long West End career behind her.
She’s been a backing dancer for X Factor’s Eoghan Quigg and Olly Murs, played Captain Hook in the Peter Pan Panto and worked on a long list of shows: Wicked, FAME, CATS, Book of Mormon, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Hairspray.
How long has Ella Vaday been doing drag and who inspires her?
This lifetime of theatre and dancing has set Ella up for drag, which has been part of her life for just over two years.
“When I first started drag I did it in complete secrecy. I didn’t tell my friend. I started my Instagram account hoping to find a following of people who didn’t know me, but just appreciated me as a drag artist,” she told the BBC.
Ella’s drag really took off during lockdown, as she now counts 30,000 Instagram followers.
And that name? It’s as British as could be. Ella used to run a dog walking business while working in the West End, so all that running around would prompt her to say: “It’s been a hell of a day!”
She added: “It’s very me – very British and a little bit moany. I used to call myself Ella Vanass, but everyone thought I was saying Elephant Ass, so I scrapped that!”
Who are the guest judges confirmed for Drag Race UK season 3?
BBC Three hasn’t yet confirmed the full list of celebrity judges that will appear on the panel, but here’s what we know so far. Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Oti Mabuse has been confirmed, as has actor, director and comedian Kathy Burke – who previously joked that her drag name would be Pan Demic – and Great British Bake Off host Matt Lucas who says that being on the show was ‘on his bucket list.’
Spice Girl Emma Bunton has reportedly finished filming her guest appearance, and it’s rumoured that Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Michelle Keegan and Sir Elton John will appear via video link.