Hart hosts ‘Royal Variety’ special

Miranda Hart as she appeared as Miss Hannigan in the hit musical, Annie, in London, earlier this year.

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BY BILLY SUTER

THE delightful Miranda Hart, star of the TV series Miranda and Call the Midwife, hosts this year’s Royal Variety Performance, to be shown on DStv’s M-Net (channel 101) from 10pm on New Year’s Eve.

The annual variety show was filmed live on November 24 at the London Palladium Theatre, which has been home to the spectacle more than any other venue, having hosted the event 40 times over the years.

A highlight of this year’s show sees royal guest Prince William called upon to do a gallop at his seat, alongside wife Kate, at the end of a sequence which has children from the London cast of the hit musical Annie performing It’s a Hard Knock Life.

The musical, still running on the West End, starred Hart for four-and-a-half months, and it is she who encourages the Annie children to persuade the heir to the British throne to get in on their act.

Seal is among Royal Variety Performance guests this year.

Among others featured in the variety spectacle this year are the London cast of the musical 42nd Street, as well as cast members of Cirque du Soleil and Circus Anyssina. The programme also features Kelsey Grammar, Alfie Boe, Michael Ball, Seal. The Script., The Killers, James Blunt, Amber Riley, Beverley Knight, Cassidy Janson, Jason Manford, Tom Allen and Paloma Faith.

Also on the bill is One Direction member Louis Tomlinson, performing his new single, Miss You, while Tokio Myers, a London pianist and music producer, who won the reality show Britain’s Got Talent this year, also performs.

The show opens with Hart and dancers performing a lyrically reworked There’s No Business Like Showbusiness, against a glitzy gold, pink and blue backdrop, and Hart then calls two male dancers back to slide on to the stage a throne bearing the letter “M”.

The Royal Variety Performance is held annually in the United Kingdom to raise money for the Royal Variety Charity of which Queen Elizabeth II is life-patron.

The first performance, on 1 July 1912, was called the Royal Command Performance and, reports Wikipedia, this name has persisted informally for the event. That first performance was in the presence of King George and Queen Mary, at the Palace Theatre in London.


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