The dust has barely settled on the latest series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, and we’re already wondering exactly what to do on our Thursday nights without a new episode to ease us into the end of the week.
It’s not an understatement to say that the season two of the hit BBC Three show helped many of us through a particularly trying start to the year, bringing light to dark places and some much-needed escapism to households around the country (and beyond!).
So, after a triumph of a series, what do we all do now?
Well, here are nine of our top TV picks to help Drag Race UK fans fill the void the show’s absence has left in their lives…
1. Drag SOS (All 4)
If ever there were a show that perfectly demonstrates the transformative power of drag, it’s Channel 4’s Drag SOS. The reality show introduces The Family Gorgeous, one of Manchester’s biggest drag collectives, who travel to small towns around the UK aiming to bring some sparkle to people’s lives who most need it.
Each episode ends with three ordinary people, who’ve never done drag before, exploring their drag alter-egos and putting on a performance for their neighbours, and it’s inevitably a total joy. And if you thought Drag Race brought on the tears, wait till you check this out.
2. Pose (BBC iPlayer/Netflix)
Drag Race has borrowed heavily from ballroom over the years, with lingo populated by the reality show actually stemming back to this New York subculture in the late 1980s and early 90s. While Drag Race throws it back to the scene, Pose takes it one step further, and introduces a host of characters embedded in ballroom culture.
The Emmy-winning show is co-produced by Ryan Murphy (best known for shows like American Crime Story, Feud and Glee), and has won huge praise for the strides it has taken in increasing transgender and non-binary visibility on screen, introducing stars like Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson and Indya Moore.
After three seasons, Pose is set to come to an end in 2021, so now is a good time to get on board with the hit show before what promises to be an absolutely glittering finale.
3. Tucked (Netflix)
This British film tells the story of Jack, a drag performer in his eighties who discovers that he is terminally ill, and forms a friendship with a younger queen (played by Jordan Stephens of Rizzle Kicks fame).
As you’ll imagine, it certainly packs an emotional punch, but with plenty of laughs along the way. And while it is fictional, it’s still a great story of drag allowing two completely unique individuals to put their differences aside.
4. Jamie: Drag Queen At 16 (BBC iPlayer)
Originally airing on BBC Three in 2011, the documentary Jamie: Drag Queen At 16 tells the story of the titular teenager, who faces pushback from his school when he announces he wants to attend his prom in drag.
Although best known as the inspiration for the hit musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (a film version of which is due to be released by Disney later this year), the documentary stands up on its own, and shows how drag can be both a means of self-expression and escapism.
It also features appearances from UK drag legends Miss Rory and Betty Legs Diamond, as well as Fifi La True in her earliest form.
5. AJ And The Queen (Netflix)
Reviews for AJ And The Queen – a co-production between RuPaul and Michael Patrick King of Sex And The City and The Comeback fame – were far from glowing when it debuted last year, and ended up being cancelled after one series.
Still, regardless of “quality”, there’s no denying it’s a camp old time, and you can look out for cameo appearances from countless Drag Race icons over its 10 episodes.
6. Glow Up (BBC Three/Netflix)
If the queens’ incredible makeup skills caught your attention during this series of Drag Race UK, there’s a load more where that came from in Glow Up.
This competition series sees amateur makeup artists being put through their paces in a variety of challenges that require them to stretch their imaginations while also trying to impress a panel of judges.
Some of the looks are truly out of this world, but we have to admit the breakout star is makeup artist and judge Val Garland, whose version of Bake Off’s “Hollywood handshake” is a declaration of “ding dong”, only becoming more and more hilarious every time she says it.
7. Interior Design Masters With Alan Carr (BBC iPlayer)
OK, this might seem like a strange inclusion on a list of shows that are supposed to fill the Drag Race-shaped hole in your lives, but while drag and interior design aren’t exactly comparable, the competition shows that centre around them definitely are.
Interior Design Masters is the kind of low-stakes entertainment fans of shows like Pottery Throwdown and Great British Sewing Bee are going to absolutely lap up, and certain contestants (alright, we’re talking about Siobhan) are camp enough they could be Drag Race regulars.
Plus, anyone missing Alan Carr’s critiques on the runway every week can look forward to the comedian offering his takes on the contestants’ interiors (whether they want to hear them or not).
8. Purse First Impressions (YouTube)
Long-term viewers will know that Bob The Drag Queen is undoubtedly one of the funniest queens to ever come through the competition, and her weekly summaries of Drag Race UK have been equal parts hilarious and outrageous.
Again, a YouTube series might seem like an unlikely addition next to regular shows on the likes of Netflix and iPlayer. However, for anyone who loved Drag Race UK, hearing Bob and their weekly guests offering their absolutely-no-holds-barred thoughts on the show – from the perspective of former contestants, no less – make for laugh-out-loud viewing.
Special shout out to Bob’s Purse First Impressions wig, too.
9. RuPaul’s Drag Race (Netflix/Now/BBC Three/WOW Presents Plus)
Of course, if you’re really missing Drag Race, then what could really remedy that would be, well, more Drag Race.
Once you’ve exhausted all 13 series of the regular US series (the most recent of which is still in the middle of airing, with new episodes debuting each Saturday morning), there’s also two of the five All Stars series available on Netflix.
For those feeling even more international, the first season of Canada’s Drag Race is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer, as is the first of the UK edition, while the Dutch and Thai versions can be watched on the Wow Presents Plus app.
The second series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK is now available to watch in full on BBC Three.