Dundee queen Ellie Diamond is swapping the drive-thru for the runway as she competes to become the UK’s next superstar on BBC Three’s Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
Ellie Diamond, 22, was inspired to perform by Ru Paul, whose popular reality TV show has become a worldwide hit.
And for Ellie – real name Elliot Smith – a dream has come true after she was picked to compete in the UK version of Paul’s iconic show, where as she will perform flamboyant tasks and battle her way up to be crowned the UK’s next drag superstar.
Ellie, who is from Broughty Ferry, hopes her appearance on the iconic show will allow others in the area to feel confident to express themselves in their own ways and show that no matter where you are from, or what you have you can still succeed.
She said: “Dundee is famous for cake and The Beano and as there isn’t much of a drag scene here, I’m a big queen – literally, I am 6ft 4in – in a tiny pond.
“Scottish queens are different to every other queen in the scene in that we are self-sufficient. We do our own hair and outfits and we do everything ourselves and so we’re very independent with our drag.
“The influence of a small town queen getting on such a massive platform is such a massive step for drag in this community and the queer scene in Dundee.
“I think it will definitely show no matter where you come from, how much money you have or that you don’t have you can do whatever you set your mind to and that is definitely something I want to push forward.
“I might be from Dundee, I might work in McDonald’s and not make a lot of money, I might live in a council flat but I’ve made it and so can you. I am just glad I am allowed to speak about it now!”
After applying for the show and being selected to compete Ellie had to keep quiet about her upcoming appearance until the queens were announced at the end of last year.
Keeping a secret may be a burden for some, but Ellie found it easier than most.
She said: “It was annoying of course as you wanted to tell everyone but it felt quite good having the power.
“People would be asking me questions and I could just say ‘nope I’m not saying anything’. I enjoyed it – I felt like Hannah Montana living a double life.”
The first instalment of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK airs on Thursday at 7pm.
An intense competition, the queens will slay their way through a weekly series of challenges designed to test their drag expertise.
Their make-up skills, fashion sense, sewing abilities, comedy, singing, acting dancing skills and, of course, lip sync skills will all be under close scrutiny.
As part of the show’s mantra, all of the queens will be assessed on their charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent.
Elliot added: “When I walked into the workroom for the first time I felt like Alice in Wonderland.
“I am excited but nervous to see the first episode, I sort of feel like a pig in a pork shop – excited to be there but scared in case I get slaughtered.
“It was great having fellow Scottish queen Lawrence Chaney there too, I have known her for years and we kind of matured in to our drag together. It was nice to have a sort of ally there from the start although they could have left her out and just had me as the only Scottish queen.
“I’m doing this for the baby queens who want to try drag but don’t have the biggest budget. Use your creativity and passion for the artform and learn how to do it yourself!”