It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… but maybe not the Christmas you were expecting.

That’s because this year it’s in the hands of RuPaul’s Drag Race superstars BenDeLaCreme – known as DeLa, pronounced almost like ‘Taylor’ – and Jinkx Monsoon, who, between them, have pretty much stolen the Christmas crown from Mariah Carey.

Ask what we should expect from the upcoming extravaganza, which comes to Manchester’s Palace Theatre next Saturday and DeLa cites the influence of the festive TV specials she watched growing up: everything from Judy Garland to PeeWee Herman.

“We do original music, we do parody music and a lot of spoken comedy but it’s important to us that the heart is there and that comes from the story. We want to tell a story but we also want to give people everything that variety gives.

“The fact is, between them, they have come to own Christmas, this being the third seasonal spectacular they’ve put on as a team.

And their joint ownership of Christmas dates from the very first time they ever worked together.

“I was living in Seattle,” explains DeLa, “and I started hearing about this kid. She was doing a show at four in the afternoon at a Starbucks for free and she walked out of the toilet where she was changing and proceeded to perform one of the best shows I had ever seen.

“I turned to the person I was there with and said, ‘I need to cast her in my next show because if we don’t join forces now we will be absolute rivals!’, so I cast her in my Christmas show and we’ve had that holiday link ever since. She likes to point out that I cast her as a Dickensian waif, covered in soot and I think I gave her consumption in the script.”

That sense of friendly rivalry is still at the heart of the Christmas show.

“You can sense the love between them,” says DeLa, “but there’s always conflict both around their different relationship to the holiday and between themselves.”

“There was this bit in a Christmas film we did ilm where we’re packing our essentials for the shows and DeLa fills her case with a Christmas tree and I pack a quart of vodka and a naked man into mine,” says Jinkx, explaining the dynamics of the relationship.

“I definitely play the one who is anti-Christmas but I did actually have really wonderful Christmases growing up.” Or so she thought at the time.

“I had a big extended family and my grandmother had the tradition of having a really big Christmas Eve party where all the family gathered at her house.

“As a kid I remember it being my favourite time of the year but now I look back and realise how tense everyone was, and how stressful it was for all the adults and how everyone was kind of like putting on the show of happy family at Christmas time.”

As for DeLa, she was not always a big Christmas fan.

“I come from an old New England family where we would meet up at the farmhouse and literally sings carols around the fire and all that craziness. The full nine yards: formal dress dinner and all the rest of it and I just hated it because the family didn’t actually like each other.

“It wasn’t until I started doing Christmas shows back in 2007 - specifically so I would have an excuse not to go home - that I started loving Christmas, because I was doing it on my own terms.”

But how does it feel bringing a show like this to the UK, where we already have panto and the tradition of men dressing up as women for comic effect?

“I didn’t realise that I had a British sensibility until I started performing there,” says DeLa. “When we first went to the UK, I learned about the pantomime tradition and what UK drag culture was and I was like, ‘Oh I’ve been doing this all along!’

“It was such a happy discovery that the sensibilities lined up so much.”

As for Jinkx, she grew up on British comedy, to an almost unhealthy degree. “Absolutely Fabulous was my thing,” she says. “I watched it backwards and forwards and I even had the books of scripts. And then there was Keeping Up Appearances, Harry Enfield and Friends… Harry Enfield was one of my favourites and it was always so rough as a kid constantly making references to a sketch comedy show that no one else in America had ever even heard of. So whenever I go to the UK, there’s a special shared language with those references.”

Add to that the fact that Jinkx’s husband is from Yorkshire, and she almost feels like an honorary Brit, ‘but I don’t want to sound like I’m obsessed or anything’.

Both DeLa and Jinkx are convinced their show will get everyone into the Christmas spirit.

“It is all sparkles,” says DeLa, “a joke a second, a lot of show and spectacle. If you want to come in and have that sparkly escapism and laugh for a whole night, you’ll get it.

“And then there are some people who are coming for something a bit more meaningful and deeper.”

The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show, Live, Palace Theatre, Manchester, Saturday, November 20. Details from