100th Royal Variety Performance to be hosted by David Walliams

David Walliams, best known for his partnership with Matt Lucas on comedy Little Britain, is to host The Royal Variety Performance 2012 at the Royal Albert Hall.

2012 marks the 100th anniversary of The Royal Variety Performance. This year the production takes place in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

David Walliams, comedian, actor and children’s author, will preside over the show, which ITV promises to be an unforgettable evening of the best UK and international musical, comedy and variety performances.

David Walliams said: “I am honoured to be presenting the Royal Variety Show this year. It is a show that I have watched every year from a very young age, and never dreamed I would be one day be a part of it. The line-up is out of this world.”

Acts set to appear this year include music legends Rod Stewart and Neil Diamond, Brit Award winners Girls Aloud, pop sensation Kylie Minogue, superstar Robbie Williams, opera personality Andrea Bocelli, multi Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys, comedians Rhod Gilbert and Bill Bailey, an extract from the Seven Olivier Award-winning Matilda The Musical and the eagerly anticipated musical ‘The Bodyguard’, plus a spectacular duet from tenor Plácido Domingo and operatic singer Katherine Jenkins. There is also Britain’s Got Talent winners Ashleigh and Pudsey the dancing dog (pictured above).

The show will air on ITV1 in early December.

Royal Variety Facts

The first Royal Variety Show was attended by His Majesty King George V, and Her Majesty Queen Mary. It was hosted at the Palace Theatre in London’s Cambridge Circus.

In 1955 two Royal Variety Performances were held. The first of the two was staged outside the capital for the very first time, taking place at the Opera House in Blackpool.

The first female to present the show was ATV’s Noele Gordon.

Although it was 1912 when the first RVP took to the stage, there hasn’t been 100 shows. Early years saw gaps between productions. The second Royal Variety Performance didn’t happen until 1919.

In 1966 the entire English football team took to the stage to take bows after their World Cup triumph.

A Royal Gala Performance Special was arranged to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Silver Jubilee In 1977. Lord Delfont and ATV’s Lew Grade joined forces to present a truly spectacular trans-Atlantic evening with Bob Hope as host.

The RVP helps to fund the EABF – Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund – which cares for hundreds of entertainers throughout the UK who need help and assistance as a result of old age, ill-health, or hard times.

Brinsworth House, in Twickenham, Middlesex, is the EABF’s dedicated nursing home, caring for elderly members of the entertainment profession.

The Royal Variety became a planned annual event from 1921 onwards at the suggestion of His Majesty King George.

ATV attempted to televise the Royal Variety Performance in 1955, the request was turned down by the Lord Chamberlain’s office on the grounds that television might endanger variety theatres around the UK.

There was no Royal Variety Performance during His Majetsy King Edward VIII’s short reign. The show also turned out its lights with the onset of the First World War. The 1956 show was cancelled four hours before curtain up due to the Suez Canal crisis.

The first Royal Variety show to be broadcast took place in 1960, five years after the first request to broadcast the event had been issued.

In 1976 the Royal Variety Performance was broadcast live on television for the first time.

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