Start your engines…
In brainstorm meetings, television formats are kicked about like footballs, ideas melded. How Clean Is Your House? for the human body became You Are What You Eat. Countryfile and Location, Location, Location became Escape to the Country. You get the idea.
So how might we bring together Attitude’s partnership with Jaguar and the power of drag for a YouTube mini- series? Top Queer or Draguar were long- standing favourites. But in the end, with four of our favourite drag queens racing off over a standing quarter mile for charity, aboard a new Jaguar I- Pace, how could it be anything but Jag Race?
Which is how we came to be standing on the runway of Bruntingthorpe airfield, in rural Leicestershire, with our quartet of hopeful contestants:
Australian drag queen Courtney Act reached the top three of RuPaul’s Drag Race season six and won Celebrity Big Brother in 2018. Courtney was to race for AKT ( The Albert Kennedy Trust), a charity that aims to provide safe homes and better futures for LGBTQ young people in the UK.
Peppermint was runner- up of season nine of Drag Race and was the first openly transfemale contestant on the show. Peppermint would race for Stonewall Community Foundation, an NYC- based charity that’s one of the top funders of LGBTQ housing and homelessness support.
A contestant on BBC3’ s just- arrived RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, The Vivienne was crowned ambassador by RuPaul herself in 2016. She would race for Sahir House, a Liverpool charity that provides a space in which people can speak freely without fear of prejudice, stigma, abuse or exploitation, in relation to HIV.
Miss Tess Tickle hosted Virgin Holidays’ inaugural Pride Flight, and featured in the commercial with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess. Tess would race for NorthEast- based charity Angel Trust, which offers a helping hand to local communities, LGBTQ groups included.
And ringmaster for this unlikely circus of the divine, and anchor of the Jag Race series?
Cheddar Gorgeous is a university anthropologist by day and a drag queen by night. Cheddar believes everybody can benefit from drag and stars in Channel 4’ s Drag
SOS, where a Manchester- based drag troupe head off on road trips across Britain to give ordinary people a drag make- over.
Two days, two heats ( Courtney v The Vivienne, Peppermint v Miss Tess Tickle) and a grand final ( Courtney v Peppermint) later and it was all over bar the shouting. A lot of shouting.
Via the Attitude Magazine Foundation, Peppermint’s win gave £ 10,000 to the Stonewall Community Foundation, Courtney’s runner- up spot meant £ 6,000 for AKT, and The Vivienne’s Sahir House and Miss Tess Tickle’s Angel Trust both scooped £ 2,000. Winners one and all.
… oh hang on, there aren’t any engines. This is the all- electric Jaguar I- Pace. And with four of the most fabulous drag queens, two hot boys and £ 20,000 on the line for charity, this is what we did last summer