Drag Race’s Baga Chipz explains how she epically trolled US queens on UK vs The World
Drag Race UK legend Baga Chipz is the most famous woman in Britain. Apparently.
Part of the beauty of RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs The World is the opportunity to watch queens from all over the globe battle it out, each bringing their own unique style and experience to the table.
The cast ranges from heavyweight legends like Jujubee and Mo Heart to fan favourites like Jimbo and Baga Chipz, and even a head judge, Pangina Heals. Of course, not all of the girls will be aware of how big their competing queens are back in their respective home countries.
When we caught up with UK queen Baga Chipz ahead of the series’ premiere on BBC Three Tuesday (February 1), she told us about having a little fun trolling her US competitors about her level of fame here in the UK.
“Well, as you’ve seen in the promo I go on it saying ‘Oh, I’m famous. I’m the most famous woman in Britain. I’m the new Diana, me.’ But you know me, if you can’t see I’m taking the piss, joke’s on you. Some people do believe, they’re like ‘does she really think that kind of thing?’ I’m like, ‘I’m taking the piss, love.’
“All the way through this show I literally trolled them so bad. I said to Juju and Monique: ‘I’m one of the most famous women in this country since the show’ and they were like, ‘Really?’. And they were like: ‘What kind of fame would you say, like, what level?’
At this point Baga took the opportunity to position herself among some our nation’s brightest shining stars. “I said ‘oh, like Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle… Daniella Westbrook?’ and they couldn’t believe it!”
“When I told them that, they were up my ass. They were like, ‘Oh, I can’t wait to do all these TELLY shows after this! When this is on, we can do all these TELLY shows together,'” she laughed.
“I’m like, ‘Darling, there were people on my season that haven’t even got a gig, never mind on telly!’ So good luck with that. You need to get a good agent. I’ve always said, the devil works hard but Baga Chipz’s agent works very, very ‘ard.”
Sexy woman. pic.twitter.com/LY5Hy5F70K
— Bagatha (@ChipShopBird) January 17, 2022
All jokes aside, Baga Chipz has gone on to enjoy a successful career in television after finishing in third place on season one of Drag Race UK, having racked up appearances in shows including The Celebrity Circle, Celebrity Masterchef and Pointless Celebrities.
With everything going so well, there had to have been some trepidation about returning to the show she made her name on.
“Yeah, there were doubts like, ‘Oh, what about if I go first?’ You know, I mean, I’m quite successful. I’m on primetime Saturday night TV shows. I was like, ‘People might think I’m shite now’,” she admitted.
There was one area in particular Baga knew she had to upskill in to avoid risking her Drag Race legacy.
“Well, this time, I had a few sewing lessons. Davina De Campo gave me lessons, she taught me how to hand sew so there would be no shite copper Brillo pad gowns this year!”
— Hayley 🖤 (@rightmeooowwww) January 17, 2022
You would think inevitably, with queens relocated from different countries and thrown together in the werkroom, cliques would naturally form among those who knew each other before the show. But Baga said she wasn’t interested in catching up with her fellow UK queens as she sees so much of them.
“When Blu would come up to me in the workroom, I’d be like, ‘Blu, I speak to you on the phone nearly every day and I see you all the time, we go on tour as the Frock Destroyer’s, alright? Piss off!’ She’s me mate, she’s like my sister.
“Me and Jimbo were really close. People were like, ‘Oh my God, them two are, like, weird,’ because we’re just like two nutters. And then me and Juju had a heart to heart, and after that she was just very friendly.”
In a game like Drag Race, especially on spin-off seasons where the format can change, it’s important to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Nobody knows this better than veteran queens like Jujubee, it seems.
“JuJu was like, ‘I’ve got you Baga. If you look after me, I’ll look after you’ kind of thing, like, ‘Don’t send me home and I won’t send you home.’
“So alliances were definitely made but, you know, at the same time I could never send home my little Blu, you know what I mean? So when people said to me, ‘I won’t send you home if you don’t send me home’, I’m like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah!’ I said that to everyone but when it comes down to it, you kick them off, don’t ya? Like, bye!” she cackled.
Regardless of who your allies are, everyone knows that if you’re not bringing the goods to Mama Ru, you’re in trouble. So we asked Baga – what’s different about what she and other UK queens do that gives them an edge over their international competitors?
“The difference is we’re funny!” she exclaimed. “I’m not gonna lie, I’ve watched some American seasons and I’m like, where’s the humour? It’s very, ‘Okay mama! Don’t you come to for me honey!’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, okay we’ve seen that, now actually do something!’
“I think in this country, we’re live performers. Obviously there’s loads of queens who lip sync and because of RuPaul a lot more people are lip syncing. When I started drag, if you wanted to work the scene, the bars like Two Brewers and all that, you had to be able to sing, hold a microphone, hold a room and be a stand-up. You had to be a stand up comedian and a singer.
“People don’t get that anymore, they just go on stage and lip sync to a Britney Spears song and that’s it. They’re not getting taught any lessons.
“If somebody is heckling in the audience, they wouldn’t know what to do. I’ve worked with queens before and I’ve given them a microphone and they’re like, ‘Oh, no, no, no.’ I’m like ‘You’re a drag queen, talk to people!'”
Even after performing in some of the UK’s biggest and most prestigious venues, Baga admitted that, for her, still nothing can hold a candle to a show in a classic London gay pub.
“I love the Admiral Duncan in Soho. I’ve performed in front of 50,000 people in Hyde Park, I’ve performed in theaters like the Garrick, all the theaters around the country, but you can’t beat a good old fashioned London pub.
“I just love pubs. You’ve got all the characters, you’ve got lovely 75-year-old John with his pint in the corner. And you’ve got Carol who’s about 70 but she’s dressed like a 16-year-old. And I’m on stage singing bloody ‘Hey Big Spender’. I just love it. I just get pissed with them – I turn up sober and I come off the stage pissed!”
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs The World starts at 9pm Tuesday (1 February) on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer, with new episodes airing every Tuesday.