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As one of the most revered and beloved drag entertainers in the UK, all eyes were on Danny Beard to demolish this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

And she did just that: over the course of 10 weeks, Danny lived up to expectations with four RuPeter Badges – tying Bimini, Ella Vaday and her season four sister Cheddar Gorgeous for most wins – and never even landed in the bottom two (or even ‘low’ for the matter). From her unhinged impersonation of Davina McCall in The Squirrel Games to her General Erection roast, Danny – who made herstory as the first bearded queen on a RuPaul-hosted season – has provided British viewers with some of the year’s most iconic moments.

This week, Danny continued to break new ground for alternative drag when she conquered over Cheddar, Black Peppa and Jonbers Blonde in the Drag Race UK final, becoming the franchise’s first-ever bearded champion in the process. “I feel so full of love. I mean, this is my first interview today so I’m going to try and not cry!” she tells GAY TIMES. “I don’t think I’ve got any more tears left in me to cry, and they’re all happy tears. I’m over the moon.”

Here, we speak with the UK’s Next Drag Superstar about her unparalleled run on Drag Race UK season four, what her win means for the future of alternative entertainers on the franchise and – following comments from fans on social media – whether she would’ve been down for that double crowning with Cheddar.

Danny, huge condragulations! How are you feeling?

Darling, I’m sat in a hotel in central London, I couldn’t be more showbiz. I was in Heaven Nightclub last night judging Porn Idol… I got straight to work. I got handed a crown and went straight to work.

That’s the dream, right? Winning Drag Race and then judging a bunch of naked queers?

Do you know what I mean? That’s the best part about being a drag queen, isn’t it?

You must be buzzing today, right?

I’m buzzing. I’m all fur coat and no knickers. You’ll have to excuse me. But, I have had the best 24 hours ever, honestly. The reaction in the clubs last night… I’ve been sent videos of people all around the world filming the final and, honestly, it’s like gay football. People are out of their seats cheering. I feel so full of love. I mean, this is my first interview today so I’m going to try and not cry! I don’t think I’ve got any more tears left in me to cry, and they’re all happy tears. I’m over the moon.

Fuck the World Cup. This is our World Cup.

Yeah, fuck the World Cup.

Take me back to last night and how you felt when RuPaul announced your name?

I don’t know if you’ve seen the clip BBC Three put up, but I had a good feeling in my gut about how the series had gone. When I watch the show back on TV, there was just this feeling inside of like, ‘That’s Cheddar Gorgeous I am stood next to. She is drag royalty in this country.’ Your mind just says, ‘There’s no way.’ The last few weeks, I prepared for Cheddar to win which – you know what? – if I had came second to Cheddar, I would’ve been happy. But, when she said my name last night, it was like someone had kicked me in the stomach. I couldn’t believe it.

You said Cheddar is a legend, and she absolutely is, but you are too. You’re one of the most notable drag entertainers in this country. Now that you’ve dominated the season and won, do you feel validated?

Do you know what feels the nicest part about all this? Listen, I don’t wanna sound like a big ‘ed, I know I’m a good at my job, I have done it 10 years and I love making people laugh and I love giving people a good time. But what you don’t get to do, day-to-day in your job, is show the person behind the makeup. The love and support I’ve got is equally for my career, my job and my art as it is me. That isn’t something I’ve ever had before. If anything, I had the opposite before Drag Race. In my shows, I am shady. I’m reading them all and I read myself, there’s no-holds-barred. I sing songs, I take the piss, I really try and be a modern version of traditional British drag. So, some people leave thinking, ‘God, they’re a cunt.’ Can I say ‘cunt’?

You can say cunt.

They must leave thinking I’m a complete knob! But, that’s drag. I like someone who’s strong on stage. When you’re stood in a room full of people, you’ve gotta take control of it.

Danny, you were one of the funniest queens we’ve ever seen on this show. Your Davina McColl parody tribute…

Do you know what, I hope she sees it at some point. Who doesn’t love Davina? Do you know what I mean? She’s one of the most iconic TV presenters in the world. ‘Do you want another one? Do you want another one?’ She’s just meme-able. She’ll be meme-able forever. There’ll be Davina, cockroaches and Cheddar Gorgeous left at the end of the world.

Your significant other, Joe, has played such a huge role in your drag career. How did he react to your win?

He’s actually sat right there in the hotel bed behind this camera right now, he’s just sinking into the bed. We were sobbing together. Listen, I wouldn’t be here… I’m gonna cry! I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him. For a long, long time, Joe was the breadwinner and I played dress up. I pushed and pushed through loads of knock-backs and recently, Joe has left their job full time to come on the road with me. For a long time, Joe would work five days a week, finish the office, jump in a car and then take me to the gigs. It’s stressful for a couple who have been together as long as we have, but it’s nice. [To Joe] Stop looking at me like that, you bitch. It’s nice, do you know what I mean? We get to share this moment together, and how lucky am I that I’m doing a job that I love and I’m taking the people that I love with me? I can’t be anything but thankful for that.

Let’s talk about that final lip-sync to Shirley Bassey. Earlier this week, you told me that you had never lip-synced before Drag Race UK. You were incredible, Danny, so what is the truth?

I’m a singer! I’ve got live vocals in my show. I’ve never needed… Not ‘needed’ to lip-sync, I don’t wanna get dragged online. I’ve never lip-synced, it’s never been something that I really thought I wanted to do. The first time I did it was for the Queens of the Bone Age performance and it was alright. After I came off stage doing that Shirley song, I remember saying, ‘I felt like the words were coming out of my chest.’ I’ve never enjoyed… I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated the art of lip-sync until I did that. I honestly felt like I could hear her voice coming out of mine. Do I sound like I need to check myself in somewhere?

No, it honestly did look like every single word was coming out of your mouth. It was a perfect lip-sync, Danny.

I felt it, babe. I knew it was my last chance. I’d listened to that song, in particular, so much in the hotel when we were prepping. I just loved it, and I’d never actually given it a listen. I shouldn’t say that because I saw this morning that Dame Shirley Bassey has posted a picture of me and Cheddar, tagged us…


Dame fucking Shirley fucking Bassey.

C’mon Shirley.

C’mon Shirley. Listen, if you’re ever in Worsley, Shirley, and you wanna pop round mine for dinner, our Joe can cook up a great scram. So if she’s watching it now, pop round Shir.

I know she’s watching. She’s gotta be.

She’s like me, fur coat and no knickers, I reckon.

We’ll @ her on Twitter and get a response. Leading up to the finale, a lot of fans actually called for a double crowning. Monét X Change and Trinity the Tuck’s shared win was very controversial, and still is, but many said they wouldn’t mind if both you and Cheddar won. How would you have felt if that did happen?

If there’s any season for a double crowning in the UK we’ve had so far, I do feel like this could have been it. It was neck and neck. It was me, Cheddar, Cheddar, me. I also wouldn’t have minded sharing it with Cheddar because we’ve become great friends. She’s another fellow Manchester queen, both our drag was born in Manchester. There was just so many strong links and reasons why it would’ve felt right. It would’ve been nice to have shared that moment with her. Don’t get me wrong… I’m happy. But, I still would’ve been just as happy to share it with Cheddar.

Like you said earlier this week, it truly has been one of those seasons of Drag Race where anyone could have won and the fans would’ve been happy. It’s such a dynamic and diverse top four. You’re all amazing people, which helps…

Thank you. I’ve seen comments this morning saying, ‘I was team Cheddar but I’m so happy that Danny won.’ It just feels so nice and I hope that, if the drag fans can take anything from this, it’s moving forward, you don’t need to bring other people down to support your faves. If you did want Cheddar to win, go and buy some Cheddar merch. Go and buy tickets to Cheddar’s show. Support the queens that way. If you wanted Jonbers to win, do the same for Jonbers. If you want Peppa to win, do the same for Peppa. We’re all self-employed artists at the end of the day and we go on this show to hopefully push our career and further ourselves. So, if your favourite hasn’t won, go and support them how you can.

Get some motherfucking merch.

And if your fave has won, also still buy the merch!

What’s the best site for your merch? Let’s put it out there! Tell ’em!

There’s a link in my bio. I’m so shit, aren’t I? I should know this stuff! There’s a link in my bio on my socials so you can get all my tickets on there, my gigs, my merch. I’ve got new merch that dropped today, which has got iconic stuff from the season on it, like those retro 90s t-shirts. I’ll send you one!

Please! You made herstory as the first bearded queen on a RuPaul-hosted season of Drag Race, and now you’ve made herstory as the first-ever bearded queen to win the title. What do you think your win means for the series and the future of alternative drag on the show?

I said it last night straight after they put this really heavy crown on my head, actually – my neck’s killing – and I said, ‘I hope this means that in the very near future, we see drag kings on there and more diverse drag.’ Listen, I’m not the best bearded queen in the world. It’s quite subtle until you get close and you notice it, and that’s my thing. I like that. But, there’s so many different kinds of drag. It’s not just about gay men in dresses, and it shouldn’t be. Drag is about being anything you wanna be. It should be open to anyone.

What do you aim to do with your title and your platform moving forward?

Well, I hope to make some of the money back that I spent because it’s very expensive! But, I really wanna work in TV and I don’t mean celebrity picking up dog shit, I would love to work in TV. I would love to host television, I’d love my show eventually. I’d like to crack TV presenting and I think I can do it. Listen to me! I’m sat here with no bloody knickers on saying, ‘I could be a TV presenter!’ I’d love to do it. It’s always been a dream, so let’s see if we can do it.

I want you to be the host of Big Brother as your Davina parody.

I could do the Bit on the Side, couldn’t I?!

You absolutely could.

I could do that, me.

I also need to see you do more standup because your General Erection routine had me fucking cackling.

Thank you babe. Honest to god, I love my job. I know I say it all the time, but I just love my job. I love making people have a good time. It’s an escape for me, as well, know what I mean? When I come off stage sometimes, it’s a blur. I’m like, ‘What happened?’ and my boyfriend’s like, ‘You said this joke, that was funny, you said this joke, write that down.’ Honestly, we really are a team.

This is a question I have to ask: are you prepared to take home another crown on All Winners season 2?

Listen, you can never say never to these things. But, give me some time to make some money because something like All Winners, you need to be spending the dollar, hun, and I need to make the dollar. I haven’t had the heating on. I’m freezing ‘ere. Saving money. Cost of living crisis.

‘Danny Beard on Drag Race All Winners season: ‘Cost of living crisis.”

That could be my new drag name, actually: Costa Livincrisis.

Love that. You’ve won the crown, now you’re done with Danny Beard.

Do you know what? I don’t know why I’m going off on this tangent, but when I was on the show I took up vaping, because it’s stressful, and you get that nicotine rush, don’t you? I said, ‘If I ever re-did drag, if I ever started my drag career again, my new name would be Nicky Rush.’ I think it’s a great drag name! And listen, if someone watching wants it, you can have it. I think it’s great.

They need to pay you though, this is copyright.

No, no, share the love. You can have it for free!

But I’m with you [shows vape], I’m addicted.

I actually got in trouble from Scott Mills the other day.


I was doing some radio show and I’m like, ‘I’m on the radio, they can’t see me.’ So I’m sat there on the Zoom like [imitates vaping] and he was like, ‘Danny can I just stop you there? We are filming this, can you not vape?’ I was like…

You could’ve vaped on this call, I wouldn’t have told you off.

It’s alright, I’m being a professional now. It’s about time, I think, do you?

Nah. You’ve won the title, you can do what you want.

No I can’t do that, I’m behaving!

Danny, it’s been such a joy to watch you this season. I can’t wait to see what you do with your reign. Big Brother!

All of it! Right now, I’ve got more gigs in London this weekend and then we fly straight up to Scotland to do a full UK Christmas tour, Shantay You Sleigh. Tickets are on sale – I know this is a shameless plug, but I’d love people to come and see it. I’m with loads of Drag Race girls, some of my season four sisters… There’s that going on. I’ve dropped a single today. I mean, I’m not pushing it everywhere. It’s a little cover of Gypsy Woman. It’s on Spotify, if you like it, have a listen. I’m just putting a bit of content out there for the people that have supported me.

This definitely won’t be the last time we speak with each other. I’ll be speaking with you next week, probably?

Probably. You’ll probably be like, ‘Can you get me in the show?’ and I’ll be like, ‘No, piss off.’ No, you can come! Drop me a message.

The entire fourth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK is now available to stream on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer.