Three of the stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK were evacuated from rehearsals at a gay London nightclub after a suspected “intentional hoax” bomb threat.
Drag Race stars The Vivienne, Tia Kofi and Veronica Green were rehearsing with fellow drag queen Shania Pain at Heaven nightclub underneath Charing Cross Station when the incident occurred on Monday afternoon.
Police were called to the venue after 3pm, with specialist officers rushing to the scene. Trains running from Charing Cross were temporarily suspended as a precaution, while the performers and the venue’s owner were escorted out of the nightclub.
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An item at the scene was subsequently confirmed not to be suspicious, police said. Officers believe the incident may have been an “intentional” hoax, after the stars posted to social media about rehearsals at the venue for their upcoming West End show, Drag Queens of Pop.
In a video on Instagram, Drag Race season one winner The Vivienne explained: “We were up in rehearsal and police stormed in and informed us that we had to evacuate the venue, because there’d been a bomb scare.
“Somebody had phoned the police, possibly after seeing our Instagram, knowing that we were at the venue rehearsing, and the police were absolutely amazing. They made us feel so safe. It’s such a shame, after lockdown, everybody is dying to get back to work, and (this happens).”
In a post, Tia Kofi added: “Today was a terrifying experience. A bomb threat was called in while rehearsing for Drag Queens of Pop. The police evacuated us and closed down the whole area. We’re all safe but shaken up. Thank you for all the kind messages.”
A Met spokesperson confirmed that officers responded to “reports of a suspicious package at a commercial property in Villiers Street.”
The Sun newspaper has reported claims that an item was “planted” at the scene by an intruder, but police did not confirm the precise nature of the retrieved item, which was “subsequently confirmed as non-suspicious.”
However, the spokesperson added: “The circumstances in which the item was found suggest that it was part of an intentional hoax and an investigation is under way to identify the person or persons responsible.
“There is no indication, at this early stage, of a particular motive but that will form one of the key lines of enquiry for officers as their investigation continues.”