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Every weird, brilliant British reference from Drag Race UK episode one

Reiss Smith October 4, 2019
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Drag Race UK queens dressed as the queen

The first-ever runway of RuPaul's Drag Race UK. (BBC)

Drag Race UK is here, it’s queer, and it’s as British as Dot Cotton drinking a gin and tonic at Buckingham Palace.

The first episode of the new BBC Three series arrived on Thursday (October 3) and was as weird and wonderful as Great Britain herself.

From Vinegar Stokes’ brilliant entrance to Andrew Garfield’s endless punning, there were endless moments to gag over. Here, we’ve chosen our six favourites from the big opening.

Everything that came out of Baga Chipz’ mouth

Baga Chipz
Baga Chipz was the first to enter the Drag Race UK werk room. (BBC)

Shag. Knockers. Trollop. Gobshite. And that was all within the first few seconds of the show.

It was as if the BBC had heard fans worry that the show might not encapsulate the crude, camp Britishness of the UK drag scene and said: “Hold my beer.”

Baga Chipz, born and raised in the West Midlands, is a walking Carry On film, only foul-mouthed and tightly-tucked.

Walking into the werk room, she announced herself as “queen of the battered sausage, and I love to be covered in Daddies’ sauce.”

Baga. Never change.

‘I didn’t turn into a little bit of a slag, I turned into a total slag.’

Vinegar Strokes
Vinegar Strokes won best entrance line. (BBC)

Now this one caught us off guard.

When Vinegar Strokes made her big entrance, she borrowed a few immortal words from the queen of leopard print, EastEnders’ Kat Slater.

For the uninitiated, the “total slag” line is taken from an episode of the long-running BBC soap in which Kat (Jessie Wallace) visited the nun’s convent where she gave birth to both her daughter Zoe (the one who, for most of her life, believed that Kat was her sister) and – unbeknown to her – a secret son. Yes, really.

The Vivienne’s Kim Woodburn impression

The Vivienne
The Vivienne paid homage to Kim Woodburn. (BBC)

When fans were speculating who might turn up as a guest judge on the show, there was one name who turned up again and again and again: TV goddess Kim Woodburn.

Of course, scouse queen The Vivienne was the first to name-check the How Clean Is Your House star, and gave Ru (and non-UK viewers) a handy explanation of her rise to fame.

“She is a cleaner off the telly, she got very famous in Big Brother.”

Surprisingly, Ru was already familiar with the Liverpudlian icon, replying: “The one with the ponytail.”

The ‘Queen of your hometown’ runway…

Blu Hydrangea with the Harland and Wolff cranes on her head
Blu Hydrangea wore Belfast’s Harland and Wolff cranes atop her head. (BBC)

… and the many puns that ensued.

Hats off to RuPaul and the team for the perfect first runway theme, which gave the queens the chance to represent their hometowns.

From Cheryl Hole’s vajazzle (putting “the sex in Essex“) to Vinegar Strokes’ River Thames (“Thames! Thames! Thames across the board!”) the runway was filled with loving tributes to the diversity and variety of the British isles.

Some of the more unusual looks came from Sum Ting Wong, who dressed as “the most iconic thing in Birmingham,” the Bullring shopping centre, and Blu Hydrangea, who walked the runway with Belfast’s Harland and Wolff cranes atop her head.

The winner of the night? Not Divina de Campo’s “Brighouse on acid” Yorkshire pudding creation – though that came a close second – but Alan Carr’s withering critique of Gothy Kendoll’s Red Leicester look.

“She looks like an estate agent who’s gone into Regent’s Park Zoo and said: ‘Can you face paint me face for 50p?’and then she’s gone back into work and gone: ‘What do you think girls?'”

It’s shade, but not as you know it.

The queens becoming the actual Queen

The Drag Race UK queens as the Queen
The Drag Race UK queens gave us their best Queen Elizabeth realness. (BBC)

For the contestants’ second runway look (“Did you think I flew all the way across the pond to see just one look?”) they transformed themselves from drag queens to the actual Queen, Elizabeth herself.

It was here that the series’ first robbery took place, as Sum Ting Wong’s brilliantly out-of-the-box stamp look was pipped to the post by The Vivienne’s Balmoral realness – nose and all.

The Ru Peter Badge

The Ru Peter Badge
The Vivienne won the first Ru Peter Badge. (BBC)

The Vivienne made history by winning the inaugural Drag Race UK runway and the show’s first-ever Ru Peter Badge.

It seems that instead of competing for a cash prize, the queens will fight for money-can’t-buy enamel pins in the style of the long-running children’s show Blue Peter. Does it get any more British?

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK continues on BBC iPlayer on Thursdays.

Related topics: Drag Race UK

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