BBC bosses have finally listened to viewers’ demands and commissioned a UK version of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
A British version of the hugely-popular US series will air on online channel BBC Three from next year.
The show’s creator and judge RuPaul (aka RuPaul Andre Charles) and Michelle Visage will begin auditions in 2019.
Confirming the UK show, RuPaul said: "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."
RuPaul will be joined by fellow judge Michelle Visage
(Image: Rex Features)
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Taking to Twitter on Wednesday morning, excited judge Michelle wrote: "Yes RuPaul is hosting, it is RuPaulsDragRace after all….and yes OF COURSE I will be right beside him!"
A source told The Sun : "This is a massive coup for the Beeb as lots of other UK channels wanted this show. It will follow the exact same format as the American version with British twists and some famous guests.
"It will be filmed in London and casting directors will be searching for the best drag artists Britain has to offer – there’ll be a huge budget for costumes and production and bosses are hoping that a star is born. It’s really exciting for everyone involved and is expected to draw a lot of new fans to the franchise."
The original US series started in 2009 and features drag queen contestants given different challenges every week.
The 2016 cast of Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars with CBB star Frankie Grande
(Image: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
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It has won a host of awards, including nine Emmy Awards and a Critics Choice Television Award.
A host of famous faces have guested on the US show, including Lady Gaga, Khloe Kardashian, Dita Von Teese, Jackie Collins, Debbie Reynolds, Pamela Anderson, La Toya Jackson, Carmen Electra, Sharon Osbourne and Amber Rose.
Last year, Michelle Visage promised Brits it was "definitely" happening, but admitted the producers were finding it hard to sell the show: "Myself and Ru will be doing it, there will be no one else. It’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, and you speak English so we don’t have to worry about the translation.
"I think commissioners don’t watch the show so all the gay people in the office and queens are like: ‘B**ch, you better watch this’, trying to talk to these people but they don’t understand the heart of the show.
"It’s life-altering and if they watched a series they would get it. There’s far too much drag talent in England, Scotland and Wales… All different parts of the UK, so it can’t not happen."
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