1955, London Victoria Palace

7th November, 1955

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
His Royal Highness The Duke Of Edinburgh K.G., K.T.

Executive Producer: Jack Hylton

Musical Directors: Billy Ternent  and Ronnie Munro

Stage Director: Charles Henry

The 1955 London audience saw Benny Hill, Lena Horne and an unusual act in the form of the Chinese Classical Theatre Company, along with established favourite Jimmy Edwards.

Newcomers include the heart-throb Johnnie Ray and the young Dave King, who had shot to fame on BBC television the year before.

This year also marked the arrival of Independent Television, who made a big to televise the Royal Variety Show. This was turned down by the Lord Chamberlain’s office on the grounds that similar application by the BBC in the past had met with the same response from the Variety Artistes’ Benevolent Fund, who felt at the time that television might endanger variety theatres all over the country.

What a difference thirty years can make in reshaping attitudes!

Johnnie Ray’s presence in the cast was greeted with great anticipation. The opening night of his Palladium season had been a sensation with the crowd of adoring fans almost in hysterics as they thronged Argyll Street and the stage door, screaming and banging their fists on the pavement. In the words of Bill Pertwee, who witnessed the amazing scenes, I believe it was the first uninhabited fan adulation that this country had experienced.’

For his act Jimmy Edwards choose the popular sketch ‘Judge for Yourself’ in which he played a bewigged denizen on the beach, which proved once and for all that the law, in the right circumstances, really be an ass. True to his hilarious buffoonery he asked a wretched defendant how he pleaded and in response to the man’s complete breakdown in the dock, Judge Edwards intoned, ‘Oh you miserable pleader.’


From Jokers Wild: Tommy Trinder, Latona, Graham And Chandel, The Victoria Palace Boyss And Girls Dave King Darvas And Julia Channing Pollock

Pat Kirkwood With Robert Beatty, Douglas Byng, George Carden, Walter Crisham, John Gregson, Boby Howes, Hugh Mcdermott, Terrence Morgan & Brian Reece Cyril Stapleton With The BBC Showband And The Stargazers

Lena Horne

From "Salad Days" John Warner, Eleanor Drew, Dorothy Reynolds, Newton Blick, Yvonne Coulette, James Cairncross, Michael Meacham, Christine Finn, Michael Aldridge, Pat Heywood, Joe Greig

Bob Harris

Johnnie Ray

From "La Plume De Ma Tante" With Robert Dhery, Jacques Legras, Colette Brosset, Christian Duvalein, Pierre Olaf And Company, Alfred Drake, George Jessell

Doretta Morrow And Company

"Judge For Yourself" With Leslie Henson, Jimmy Edwards, Richard Attenborough, Diana Dors, Edmund Willard, Brian Reece, Bruce Selton, Emrys Jones, Lauri Lupino Lane

The Chinese Classical Theatre Company

Moscow State Folf Dance Company