UK: ‘I Can’t Bear It’: British TV Personality Paul O’Grady Slams ‘Drag Race’

Paul O’Grady, TV personality and creator of Britain’s most famous drag queen Lily Savage, has revealed that he is not a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Not at all.

Dishing with journalist Ben Hunte for BBC Radio Four Extra’s Gay Britannia season, O’Grady made the surprising admission that he “can’t bear” the show, or the drag queens of today.

First, O’Grady discusses the roots of Polari, a form of British gay slang that gay men used before Britain legalized homosexuality in 1967. Although it derives from 19th century among theater folk, sailors, showmen and criminals, 20th century gay men used it as a way to discuss their lives at a time when being gay could get you fired, thrown in jail and chemically castrated.

O’Grady commonly used the slang on his shows, to usually hide tawdry subject matter from the conservative censors. 

Next, the subject turns to RuPaul’s Drag Race, when Hunte suggests that even though Polari has been lost, today’s younger generation has its own slang thanks to the VH1 series.

This is when O’Grady goes in.

When asked if he watches RuPaul’s Drag Race, O’Grady responds, “No, I can’t bear it. No really, I can’t.”

He continues: “Because that’s not drag. You know? It’s all about shading and contouring the face now and being like supermodels.” Read more via Unicorn Booty