MNEK & AJ AND CURTIS PRITCHARD JOIN DRAG RACE UK 0 32

With every great competitive reality show, comes ever increasing challenges. Thus, brothers, AJ and Curtis and MNEK join the celebrity line-up for the first ever UK series, applying their considerable talent and experience to help coach the queens through some testing challenges.

MNEK is an uber multi-talented British singer, a Brit and Grammy-award-winning songwriter, a singer/rapper famed for his flamboyant dress sense, a sought after record producer, and a huge fan of the Drag Race franchise. He is the perfect man for the job of helping the queens perfect their vocal skills. MNEK has been writing since the age of 14, and was the recipient of the prestigious ASCAP Vanguard Music Award for song writing at the age of 21 having written for some of the music industry’s biggest stars including Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, Little Mix and Dua Lipa.

MNEK says: “I had so much fun working with the queens on Drag Race UK! The public is in for a real treat.”

Appearing on screen together for the first time are dance and choreography superstar brothers, AJ and Curtis Pritchard, when they help the remaining queens with their dance skills for one of the challenges.

AJ is one of the permanent and most loved professional dancers on mega UK hit Strictly Come Dancing, and thanks to his appearance as a professional dancer on the Irish version of Dancing With The Stars, AJ’s younger brother, Curtis, is equally well known in Ireland. In addition, Curtis is currently creating waves as a singleton on Love Island. Together, the two brothers make for an impressive dance duo, and their previous experience with dance partners of mixed abilities make them the perfect, strictly professional coaches for the contestants of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.

AJ Pritchard says: “I am such a fan of RuPaul and was honoured to be asked to work on the UK show. We had an amazing time working with the queens and cannot wait for you to see the performance.”

Curtis Pritchard says “I jump at the chance of working with my brother anytime anything together comes up, so doing that and being asked to be part of something so iconic was a yes from me!”

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK will transmit on BBC Three in the Autumn. It will showcase the most fabulous drag queens that the UK has to offer and see RuPaul crown the UK’s First Drag Superstar.

Maisie Williams, Geri Horner and Jade Thirlwall, Michaela Coel and Andrew Garfield, Cheryl and Twiggy have previously been announced as the extra special celebrity guest judges joining RuPaul and Michelle Visage for one episode each alongside Graham Norton and Alan Carr who will be on rotating judging duties.

The RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise, including RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, is produced by World of Wonder.

Drag Race UK is commissioned by Fiona Campbell, Controller BBC Three and Kate Phillips, Controller, BBC Entertainment. The Executive Producers are RuPaul Charles, Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell, Sally Miles and Bruce McCoy, and the BBC Commissioning Editor is Ruby Kuraishe.

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STRICTLY 2019: ANNEKA RICE JOINS LINE-UP 0 18

Anneka Rice is an award-winning broadcaster.

The 17th series of the NTA and Bafta award-winning entertainment show produced by BBC Studios will return in the autumn on BBC One putting the sparkle back into Saturday and Sunday nights.

Anneka says: “I haven’t danced since I was seven and Miss Beer sent me home from my ballet class because I was hopelessly uncoordinated. My family and friends haven’t seen me dance since, not at a wedding or round a handbag so it’s going to be a challenge for my partner. In fact I’ve asked for two, one on each side. I can’t see myself in a long frilly dress either. But I’m feeling recklessly excited. Strictly has always been my Autumn’s entertainment and now I’m part of it! My children will probably leave the country”.

Anneka Rice shot to fame in this country as the Sky-Runner in Channel 4’s Treasure Hunt.

She also presented Sporting Chance, TV-am, Driving Force, Wish You Were Here, Capital Woman, Combat, Holiday, Hell’s Kitchen, The Royal Variety Performance and numerous other shows.

She went on to devise the award-winning Challenge Anneka for BBC One, shining a spotlight on issues like disability, homelessness and animal welfare and has raised millions of pounds worth of supplies and services for charities and communities.

Her radio work includes the Radio 2 Saturday Breakfast Show which she presented for six years; Pick Of The Week, Friday Night Is Music Night, The Arts Show, Sunday Love Songs, Loose Ends, and the award-winning podcast Fortunately.

She is a Patron of Operation Encompass, Help for Heroes and Horatio’s Garden.

CASUALTY NEWS: JANE HAZLEGROVE TO RETURN AS DIXIE 0 20

Casualty fans can expect to see a familiar face back on screen soon, as Jane Hazlegrove is set to reprise her role as Dixie for two episodes in Casualty’s new series this autumn.

Making an appearance as part of the HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) team, Dixie arrives at a call out in the nick of time to assist the paramedic team with a young lad who has a life-threatening chest injury.

But it’s not just the patient who Dixie will have an impact on. Seeing an old colleague taking on a whole new challenge really leaves an impression on Iain and leads him to think about his own future.

Jane Hazlegrove says: “It was really great to see some familiar faces again and of course to hang out with Sir Michael Stevenson… despite the fact that his jokes haven’t got any better!”

Simon Harper, Executive Producer Casualty and Holby City, says: “It’s wonderful to have the brilliant Jane Hazlegrove back in the Casualty family fold. Dixie was and remains a massively popular character with the audience who miss her to this day, and she and Iain are clearly going to have a lot to catch up on after his tumultuous year.”