Baga Chipz, the iconic drag queen who won our hearts over DragRace UK Season 1 and Drag Race UK vs the world, comes on YASS to discuss everything drag and reveal all the secrets about her upcoming appearance on DragCon UK, the biggest ever drag con in the British history!
How are you doing Baga?
I’m doing well! By the way, you are looking gorgeous today.
Thank you very much! You too! How was your experience in DragRace UK vs the world?
I was a bit more relaxed on this one because obviously on the first season I did, it was the first ever UK one and I was like “Is it gonna be like the American one? Is it gonna be a watered down version? Is it gonna be a cheap version? Is it gonna…?” And then, when we walked in the workroom I was like “Oh no, it’s exactly the same as the American one”. The work remains incredible. The runway, the judges, everything. And with the UK vs the world, I was just more relaxed and I made new friends. So, with people like Jimbo, to whom I had never spoken online, we were just hitting it off right away. We were like “I think we’re both very weird”. Also, I’m one of those people that like to watch the argument and don’t get involved. I just eat the popcorn!
What was it like returning to the werkroom?
It felt like my second home. I have just had really good vibes in that werkroom and all the stresses related to the outside world, just disappear because when you are inside. It is basically like Big Brother, you’re not allowed to go anywhere, you don’t have a mobile phone or anything. So you’re a lot of time by yourself and it is very easy to bond with the other queens, who were lovely. Also, a lot of people might not know this about Ru, but I want to mention she was just so welcoming and friendly and lovely when in person. I’ve never had to drag them over because I’m a man and a bit old myself. So, Ru became my drag mother, the mother of all mothers.
How was your drag changed over the years?
Oh, well. I like to say this. I used to do an Amy Winehouse tribute act when I started. I loved Amy Winehouse and she was glamorous but, I mean, I used to do the Amy Winehouse, like denim shorts and a bra and ballet shoes. And this is when I had a waist, so you know, I mean I wouldn’t have any belly out, I would say it was all campy and very British. No, my drag is still probably on the edge and rough, but with more designer’s stuff, like a nice little Chanel bag or a Gucci bag or something. If I was too polished that would take away all my charm.
So this DragCon UK is going to be bigger and better than before and we’re very excited. How do you feel about it?
I can’t wait. You know, let’s be real. We’ve had hard times with COVID and also British politics are literally in the toilet, especially with COVID, so couldn’t do it the previous years. So, now it is just going to be bigger and better than ever. We’re at the Excel, and we’re doing three dates. You’re gonna meet over 100 queens’ performances throughout the day, from winners and girl groups. If you’re a fan of drag race, it’s definitely the place to be! I’m going to be performing with my my beautiful sisters Divina and Blue Hydrangea and I will get a bigger booth this time. I had a small booth in LA so I might get a double this time and, we’ve got new merchandise. I
What are you most grateful for?
Obviously, the show has given me so much, it’s helped me financially and it’s helped me with opportunities. I’ve done acting on television, I’ve been on game shows and stuff. But I’d say the best thing that came out of drag race was meeting the queens that we were on the same season. We’re literally like family. What I’m grateful for in life is my beautiful adoring fans, who follow me since day one. And they’re still coming to my shows. They’re just so supportive and they always send with lovely messages.
What can we expect from Baga in the future?
My agent constantly matches me on a daily basis, I’m not gonna lie. I go to the show and theatre openings all the time. I’ve got also some other TV projects in the pipeline, and I’ve just performed all over the world. I’ve got America coming up in November, then Drag Cons, UK one and later I’ll be going to the LA one. I’ve just been on a TV show called “Ackley Bridge”, doing a bit of acting. Put it this way, you’re gonna be seeing more and more and more of me and that might be good news to some and bad to some great news. There’s still life in the old dog yet!
How do British drag queens differ from the US ones?
What I’ve noticed with the US ones is that they are definitely more competitive. I don’t know if it’s about seriousness, because we still take it serious in this country as well, and it’s our job. You have to take it serious. But, in America, they have a pageant scene. So, it’s definitely more about the look. In the UK, we have a strong joking culture based on British references, and we can’t escape from this. We have a lot of things wrong in this country, but we also have some great things, we have the pageantry scene in the pub.
How can someone seduce Baga?
A lovely eight inches of battered sausage and chips are good. You don’t have to buy me diamonds.