The celebs of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK have paid tribute to former contestant George Ward, generally known as Cherry Valentine, following his dying aged 28.
Ward, who died on Sunday, appeared on the second collection of the BBC Three present, earlier than launching a TV profession and fronting the BBC documentary Gypsy Queen And Proud.
An announcement from his household expressed their “profound shock” and requested for “endurance and your prayers on this time”.
Sequence one star Cheryl Gap, actual title Luke Underwood-Bleach, led tributes on social media, tweeting: “I by no means thought I’d have to put in writing one thing like this about such a proficient and delightful individual that was Cherry.
“We have now misplaced an unimaginable queen and I’m actually devastated! RIP @TheCValentine I LOVE YOU.”
Ellie Diamond, who appeared in collection two alongside Ward, shared a photograph of them collectively on Instagram.
The submit mentioned: “I’m so unhappy to even start fascinated about posting this! Cherry introduced a lot life and laughs to no matter scenario!
“At all times somebody who was caring and loving, her snigger lightened up a room like fireworks and can endlessly have a cherry purple place in all our hearts! I like you my sister you may be missed!”
Fiona Campbell, controller of BBC Three, mentioned: “We’re all shocked and heartbroken to listen to the information of the passing of George, identified to many as Cherry Valentine.
“A fan favorite and an inspiration to so many, we had been privileged to have labored with him at BBC Three.
“He might be massively missed by his many followers and pals. Our deepest sympathies are together with his household and pals at this troublesome time.”
Tributes additionally got here from Good Morning Britain presenter Charlotte Hawkins, who recalled assembly Ward at Epsom Racecourse, and drag queen and creator Glamrou.
Glamrou, actual title Amrou Al-Kadhi, mentioned: “Winded by the devastating information about Cherry Valentine. I can’t consider it. A real queen. Relaxation in peace my expensive.”
Ward’s household introduced his dying on Friday morning in an announcement to the PA information company that mentioned: “It’s with probably the most heart-wrenching and deepest disappointment to tell you that our George – Cherry Valentine – has tragically handed away.
“This may come as a profound shock to most individuals and we perceive there isn’t any straightforward manner for this to be introduced.
“As his household, we’re nonetheless processing his dying and our lives won’t ever be the identical.
“We perceive how a lot he’s liked and what number of lives he has impressed and touched. All we ask is on your endurance and your prayers on this time. We love you Georgie.”
Ward was raised in Darlington, County Durham as a part of the Traveller group and certified as a psychological well being nurse in 2015, earlier than beginning his profession in drag.
In December 2020, Ward was introduced as certainly one of 12 contestants competing within the second collection of the UK model of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
In his introductory video for the present, he described his Cherry Valentine alter-ego as “glamour”, “darkish” and “gothic”.
He mentioned his work as a nurse had “put me in that proper place to have the ability to perceive folks a bit extra.
“If you’re a drag queen you’re working with folks. And to know folks I feel you go the additional mile.”
After showing on the present, Ward labored with the BBC to supply a documentary exploring his Traveller heritage.
Within the 2022 particular, referred to as Gypsy Queen And Proud, he revisited the group he left aged 18.
He additionally carried out publicly and appeared in music movies by artists akin to Charli XCX.
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