Jason Manford is to Host this Year’s Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool, ITV today announced. The Illuminations may have been turned off due to Covid, but the resort will sparkle for one night later this month.
“After appearing at the Royal Variety Performance three times since 2009, it is an honour and a privilege to be hosting the show this year. It’s been a hugely difficult year for everybody, so I hope that for a couple of hours on a cold Winter’s night in Blackpool, we can take people’s minds off things and do what us Brits do best; have a laugh.” – Jason Manford
Comedian, actor and singer Jason Manford is to host The Royal Variety Performance at the historic Blackpool Opera House in the Winter Gardens Complex. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will deliver a special message to the charity and the artistes performing in the show, as he looks forward to this exceptional evening of entertainment.
Returning to the North after nine years, the show promises to be an unforgettable evening of exceptional performers, world class British theatre and superb comedy, plus some exciting surprises.
2020’s stellar line-up includes the inspirational Captain Sir Thomas Moore who captured the nation’s hearts with his fundraising efforts during the pandemic. He will be joining forces from his home for an exclusive performance with Michael Ball who will be on stage at the Opera House with the NHS choir to perform their chart-topping anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. Plus a special solo appearance by pop icon Gary Barlow.
The evening will also herald the welcome return of musical theatre with an exclusive performance from the award-winning Sheridan Smith as Cilla in the heart-warming and spectacular Cilla The Musical and a mesmerising exclusive from Frozen the Musical starring leading lady Samantha Barks.
There’s more music from Brit Award winner and rising star Celeste, singer and Spice Girl Melanie C and high energy choreography from the eternally popular Steps.
TV presenter Stephen Mulhern with be showing off some magic tricks and there’ll be performances by West End sensation Marisha Wallace and Kenyan acrobats The Black Blues Brothers.
Also on the bill is Britain’s Got Talent 2020 winner Jon Courtenay who will take to the stage with a specially composed and heart-warming performance, and there’s more comedy from stand-ups Jo Caulfield and Daliso Chaponda.
“The event is staged in aid of the Royal Variety Charity, whose patron is Her Majesty The Queen. The money raised from the show helps those people from the world of entertainment in need of care and assistance.” – ITV
The star studded spectacular will take place on Sunday 29th November and will be screened on ITV in December. It will be produced by ITV Studios.
Last week the Blackpool Illuminations were turned off for only the second time in peacetime Britain, the first time the lights dimmed was back in 1997 when Princess Diana died and the plug was temporarily pulled as a mark of respect. The illuminations were also not present during the First and Second World Wars.