Drag performer George Ward, recognized by means of his degree title Cherry Valentine, has died on the age of 28, his circle of relatives have introduced.
Ward, who died on Sunday, gave the impression on the second one sequence of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, earlier than launching a TV occupation and fronting the BBC documentary Gypsy Queen And Proud.
A commentary from his circle of relatives mentioned: “It’s with probably the most heart-wrenching and private unhappiness to let you know that our George – Cherry Valentine – has tragically kicked the bucket.
“This may increasingly come as a profound surprise to the general public and we perceive there’s no simple means for this to be introduced.
“As his circle of relatives, we’re nonetheless processing his dying and our lives won’t ever be the similar.
“We know the way a lot he’s liked and what number of lives he has impressed and touched. All we ask is in your endurance and your prayers on this time. We like you Georgie.”
Ward was once raised in Darlington, County Durham as a part of the Traveller neighborhood and certified as a psychological well being nurse in 2015, earlier than beginning his occupation in drag.
In December 2020, Ward was once introduced as one among 12 contestants competing in the second one sequence of the United Kingdom model of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
In his introductory video for the display, he described his Cherry Valentine alter-ego as “glamour”, “darkish” and “gothic”.
He mentioned his paintings as a nurse had “put me in that proper place so that you could perceive folks somewhat extra.
“In case you are a drag queen you might be operating with folks. And to know folks I feel you move the additional mile.”
Excellent Morning Britain presenter Charlotte Hawkins was once amongst the ones paying tribute.
She tweeted: “Very unhappy to listen to that Cherry Valentine has died, elderly simply 28. We met again in June at Epsom – so energetic then, it’s laborious to imagine. Sending like to George’s circle of relatives & buddies, simply heartbreaking.”
Drag queen and writer Glamrou, actual title Amrou Al-Kadhi, added: “Winded by means of the devastating information about Cherry Valentine. I will’t imagine it. A real queen. Relaxation in peace my pricey.”
Fiona Campbell, controller of BBC 3, mentioned: “We’re all surprised and heartbroken to listen to the inside track of the passing of George, recognized to many as Cherry Valentine.
“A fan favorite and an inspiration to such a lot of, we have been privileged to have labored with him at BBC 3.
“He’s going to be vastly overlooked by means of his many lovers and buddies. Our private sympathies are along with his friends and family at this hard time.”
After showing at the display, Ward joined 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 neighborhood he left elderly 18.
He additionally carried out publicly and gave the impression in tune movies by means of artists equivalent to Charli XCX.