23rd November, 1987
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
His Royal Highness The Duke Of Edinburgh K.G., K.T.
Presented by: London Weekend Television
Musical Director: Alyn Ainsworth
Producer: David Bell
The Queen and Prince Philip enjoyed a mixture of nostalgia and modern show business at the 1987 Royal Variety Performance, presented this year by London Weekend Television.
Nostalgia came early in the 'Ghosts of the Theatre' spot. Bernie Winters and Leslie Crowther played Flanagan and Allen, Allan Stewart was the incomparable Sir Harry Lauder, while Jessica Martin was Judy Garland. Contemporary humour came from two of the brightgest comedy stars of the moment, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. Other comedy came from Michael Barrymore, Jimmy Tarbuck, Cannon and Ball and the newer act of Hale and Pace, as dinner-jacket 'hard men.'
There was much music to delight the audience, provided by artistes like James Galway, Shirley Bassey, the sensual Eartha Kitt, and an extract from the Phantom of the Opera with Sarah Brightman.
Firm believers in self-censorship, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, cleaned up their act to save the Queen from any embarrassment. Out went a four letter word and a joke about sex. "We don't necessarily believe Her Majesty would take any offence, but we would hate to cause her any embarrassment," said Stephen Fry.
Understudy of the evening award went to Richard Branson, Virgin tycoon. He stood in for Jerffery Archer as Eartha Kitt's companion as she sang her distinctive song 'Old Fashioned Girl.'
Shirley Bassey won universal admiration when she appeared at this year's show, her first major engagement since the death of her daughter two years earlier. Her return to the stage was deemed to be a hit of the show.
Anthony Newley And The Alan Harding Dancers
Cannon & Ball
Les Miserables - Dudu Fisher, Kaho Shimada, Michael Mguire
Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie
Hale & Pace
Mel Torme & George Shearing
The Phantom Of The Opera With Sarah Brightman
Sir Harry Secombe
23rd November, 1987
The Palladium Theatre, London