The drag performer George Ward, identified by their stage identify Cherry Valentine, has died on the age of 28.
The performer was “an inspiration to many”, the BBC mentioned, after Ward’s household introduced their dying on the age of 28.
Ward’s profession in tv started after showing on the second sequence of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK in 2021.
Born and raised as George Ward within the Traveller group in Darlington, County Durham, they offered a BBC documentary about their life, Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud, in January this 12 months.
In an announcement, Ward’s household mentioned: “It’s with probably the most heart-wrenching and deepest unhappiness 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 method 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 beloved and what number of lives he has impressed and touched. All we ask is in your persistence and your prayers on this time. We love you Georgie.”
Ward certified as a psychological well being nurse in 2015 and three years later started performing as Cherry Valentine. Through the pandemic they labored in a Covid vaccination centre.
Ward was introduced as considered one of 12 contestants competing within the second sequence of the UK model of RuPaul’s Drag Race in December 2020.
In an introductory video for the present, Ward described their Cherry Valentine alter-ego as “glamour”, “darkish” and “gothic”.
They mentioned working as a nurse had “put me in that proper place to have the ability to perceive individuals a bit extra. “In case you are a drag queen you’re working with individuals. And to know individuals I believe you go the additional mile.”
The controller of BBC Three, Fiona Campbell, 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 will likely be massively missed by his many followers and pals. Our deepest sympathies are together with his household and pals at this tough time.”
Within the BBC documentary, Ward describes how they didn’t really feel accepted rising up and moved away at 18, solely staying in touch with their mom. The movie follows a return to their roots.
Speaking about their motivation for making the BBC documentary, Ward said in a promotional video: “It was one thing that I needed to do as a result of if I used to be youthful and noticed one thing like that, it possibly would’ve helped me really feel a bit of bit in a different way about it.”
Describing their struggles rising up, Ward mentioned: “My first recollections enjoying out with all of the lads on one of many camps, I felt like I needs to be enjoying with the ladies within the trailer with the dolls and doing my hair and I simply didn’t ever really feel like I fitted in correctly.”
Talking about their alter ego, Ward mentioned: “Cherry is simply the a part of me that I need to be once I’m out of drag. Clearly we’re the identical particular person.”
The Good Morning Britain presenter Charlotte Hawkins tweeted: “Very unhappy to listen to that Cherry Valentine has died, aged simply 28. We met again in June at Epsom – so vigorous then, it’s onerous to consider. Sending like to George’s household & pals, simply heartbreaking.”