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RuPaul's Drag Race UK star Cherry Valentine dies aged 28

RuPaul's Drag Race UK star Cherry Valentine has died aged 28, their agent has confirmed.

Cherry - whose real name is George Ward - starred in series two of the UK version of the hit show. Their family said their death came as a 'profound shock'.

They said the performer died on September 18 and that their 'lives will never be the same.' In a statement, Cherry's family said: "It is with the most heart wrenching and deepest sadness to inform you that our George - Cherry Valentine - has tragically passed away.

"This will come as a profound shock to most people & 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.

Cherry Valentine (BBC/World of Wonder/Ray Burmiston)

"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. 30 November 1993 - 18 September 2022."

Cherry, who has performed at Manchester Pride, grew up in Darlington. They previously told the Manchester Evening News of their struggles growing up gay in a traveller community.

After a tough time growing up, they went to university in Lancaster where they then were able to explore their identity and sexuality. They qualified as a mental health nurse in 2015, before starting their career in drag.

Cherry competed in RuPaul's Drag Race UK and went on to front their own BBC documentary ‘Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud’.

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