Ru Paul’s Drag Race returns to BBC iPlayer tonight – Thursday 23 – at 7pm for its third series, and this time round the borough of Merton will be represented. Over the next 10 weeks, Vanity Milan will fight it out with other contestants to be crowned the country’s next drag superstar.
The 29-year-old south Londoner, who hails from Mitcham, will be trying to impress Ru and her judging panel – which will include Michelle Visage, Graham Norton, Alan Carr and other celebrity judges.
Here are nine things Vanity told the BBC about herself…
1. “I’m sophisticated, sexy and savage. I’m not a diva. I’m not a hun. I’m serving unapologetic blackness. Vanity is REAL. I am REAL. I grew up in Mitcham, south London where it’s very REAL. I’ve lived in London 29 years, born and bred – south ‘til the death! And my drag is very south London.”
2. “The recipe to be Vanity Milan is sugar, spice and everything nice. She is just a humble, performing drag queen serving high octane performances with extra spicy flavour. Vanity loves the art of drag and everybody that loves it. That’s Vanity Milan!”
3. “I have been doing drag for a year – but I have gone from 0 to 100 real quick. In 2019 I took part in a competition called The Crown. Every week we had to compete and someone would be sent home. But I won! So I’m used to a bit of competition. But also, it was such a good way to meet new friends! Especially because it was the first time I was doing drag in London.
4. “I am competitive. I believe if you put your mind to it, and you put the blood, sweat and tears, and, and the hard work and dedication behind it, you can be somebody! But that doesn’t mean you have to take other people down to get there.”
5. “From a very young age my mum would always catch me looking in the mirror. One day, she said to me, ‘Look, you’re always stuck in the mirror’ you might as well just call yourself Vanity!’ That has always stuck with me, and then later I added Milan because I always serve fashion!”
6. “I’m very versatile! I don’t want to class myself as a queen that fits into just one category because my drag career is ever-evolving. I’m always learning, and I can serve looks, do comedy, sing and dance.”
7. “I dance like no-one else. I give it spice, with me you’re going to catch some twerking, hair flips, splits, dips, kicks, dips, trips. I just go, go, go! Oooh girl, we’re gonna have a good ol’ time!”
8. “I never stop, even when I moved to my husband’s home country Estonia for a while, I continued to dance – I taught dance classes and choreography for Estonian celebrities. In fact, as I’ve worked on cruise ships, I’ve performed all over.”
9. “I’m nice and I’m real. I always work hard. If I fail, I try and try again, and if I put my mind to it, I can do anything. I’ve worked really hard to be here, and my eye is on the prize…”