Drag star Cherry Valentine, who starred in UK’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, dies aged 28 | Ents & Arts Information

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star George Ward, recognized by his stage identify Cherry Valentine, has died on the age of 28, his household has introduced.

Ward appeared on the second sequence of the present earlier than launching a TV profession and fronting the BBC documentary Gypsy Queen And Proud.

An announcement from his household mentioned: “It’s with probably the most heart-wrenching and deepest disappointment to tell you that our George – Cherry Valentine – has tragically handed away.”

The performer died on Sunday, together with his household saying his passing will “come as a profound shock to most individuals”.

“As his household, we’re nonetheless processing his loss of life and our lives won’t ever be the identical,” the assertion continued.

“We perceive how a lot he’s cherished and what number of lives he has impressed and touched. All we ask is in your persistence and your prayers on this time. We love you Georgie.”

Ward was raised in Darlington, County Durham, as a part of the Traveller neighborhood and certified as a psychological well being nurse in 2015 earlier than pursuing his drag profession.

In December 2020, he was introduced as one of many 12 contestants competing within the UK model of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which he appeared in alongside Lawrence Chaney, Bimini Bon-Boulash and Veronica Inexperienced.

George Ward, known by his stage name Cherry Valentine, who has died at the age of 28

In his introductory video, Ward described his Cherry Valentine character as “glamour”, “darkish” and “gothic”.

“If you’re a drag queen you might be working with individuals. And to grasp individuals I feel you go the additional mile,” he mentioned.

Ward was the second competitor to be eradicated from the present after performing within the Rusical and delivering a runway look in entrance of visitor choose Sheridan Smith.

Following his look, Ward joined the BBC to create a documentary exploring his Traveller heritage, wherein he revisited the neighborhood he left on the age of 18.

He additionally carried out quite a few public exhibits and appeared in music movies by artists comparable to Charli XCX.

Cherry Valentine leads the line-up of fabulous drag queens at The Cazoo Derby, as racing's most spectacular carnival returns to Epsom Downs Racecourse. Back bigger and better than ever for 2022, The Cazoo Derby Ladies Day kicks off the weekend's celebrations.

‘A real queen’ and ‘a fan favorite’

Good Morning Britain presenter Charlotte Hawkins was amongst these paying tribute to Ward, saying: “Very unhappy to listen to that Cherry Valentine has died, aged simply 28.

“We met again in June at Epsom – so vigorous then, it is laborious to consider. Sending like to George’s household & mates, simply heartbreaking.”

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Fellow drag queen and writer Glamrou, actual identify Amrou al Kadhi, mentioned: “Winded by the devastating information about Cherry Valentine. I am unable to consider it. A real queen. Relaxation in peace my expensive.”

Fiona Campbell, controller of BBC Three, which broadcasts RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, described Ward as a “fan favorite” and an “inspiration”.

She mentioned: “We had been privileged to have labored with him at BBC Three. He can be massively missed by his many followers and mates. Our deepest sympathies are together with his household and mates at this troublesome time.”

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