Cherry Valentine, star of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, dies age 28

Cherry Valentine George Ward
Image: BBC/Instagram

Drag performer George Ward, known by their stage name Cherry Valentine, has died at the age of 28.

Ward (he/they) appeared on the second series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.

A statement from their family described their death as a “profound shock”.

“It is with the most heart-wrenching and deepest sadness to inform you that our George – Cherry Valentine – has tragically passed away,” Ward’s family said.

“This will come as a profound shock to most people and we understand there is no easy way for this to be announced.”

“As his family, we are still processing his death and our lives will never be the same,” they added.

“We understand how much he is loved and how many lives he has inspired and touched. All we ask is for your patience and your prayers in this time. We love you Georgie.”

Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud

Born and raised in the Traveller community in Darlington, County Durham, this year they presented a BBC documentary about their life, Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud.

Ward left the traveler community when they were 18, after being rejected for being gay.

Gypsy Queen and Proud is about me and it’s about my family and the community that I grew up in and how that has affected me during later life,” they told the Mirror.

“Growing up I’d never seen those types of conversations happen and I think [the documentary] was something I wanted to do because if I was younger and I saw something like that it maybe would have helped me feel differently about it.

“Is this going to change the community for LGBT travellers? Well I hope so, but I actually don’t know.”

BBC and Drag Race UK c0-stars pay tribute

Cherry Valentine’s co-stars and colleagues have flooded social media with tributes for the queen.

Drag Race UK judge Michelle described Valentine as a beautiful soul and said their documentary had “opened her eyes”.



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Sarah Davison
Sarah Davison

After working in print and radio, Sarah has joined the team at QNews to expand their coverage into South Australia. Sarah has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and a Masters in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Get in touch:

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