START YOUR ENGINES! RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE IS COMING TO THE UK 0 161

BBC Three and World of Wonder announced today that a UK version of the award-winning global hit RuPaul’s Drag Race is coming to the channel in 2019.

In the first UK adaptation of the show, RuPaul will be on the lookout to crown one of the UK’s top drag artists the ‘Queen of Great Britain’. But, it will take more than just a wig and pair of heels to win as ten contestants take part in weekly challenges and face off against each other to keep themselves in the competition.

RuPaul, says: “It is a dream come true to extend our royal family to the United Kingdom with our partners at BBC Three. 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.”

Contestants will compete in individual or team challenges that test a specific drag queen skill before taking on the Maxi Challenge, the headline moment of each show where they may be required to perform, model in a photo shoot, prepare a runway look for a themed challenge before having to face the judges, with one contestant each week eliminated and asked to “Sashay Away”.

Damian Kavanagh, Controller BBC Three, says: “Needless to say, we’re delighted that BBC Three will be the home of a new UK version of Drag Race. It is one of the biggest entertainment titles in the world and anticipation levels for a UK version have been at feverish levels. With heart, humour and the un-imitable RuPaul, Drag Race is going to take BBC Three to a whole new level.”

Kate Phillips, Controller, Entertainment Commissioning, says: “I’ve been a huge fan of this funny, frank and fierce format for a long time. I also know there is a wealth of very talented and very competitive drag artists in the UK and I can’t wait for them to sashay onto the BBC!”

Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, World of Wonder Co-Founders and Executive Producers, say: “World of Wonder Productions began in the UK, and the many Queens of England have always been an inspiration, so bringing RuPaul’s Drag Race to BBC Three is a very special home coming”.

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STRICTLY 2019: ANNEKA RICE JOINS LINE-UP 0 22

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 24

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.”