2013, London Palladium

25th November, 2013


Executive Producers, EABF:                         Laurie Mansfield & Giles Cooper

Controller of Entertainment, ITV Studios: John Kaye Cooper

Creative Director, ITV Studios :                     Lee Connolly

Executive Producers, ITV Studios:                    Fiona Clark & Glenn Coomber

Director, ITV Studios: Julia Knowles

2013 marked the beginning of a new era. Chairman Giles Cooper said in his introduction to the show programme, "Our charity, the Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund, organisers and beneficiaries of the Royal Variety, has had to tackle some difficult decisions this year. Modernising the governance, operation and direction of a charity that has over 100 years of heritage, steeped in practices, traditions and the odd 'old habit', hasn't always been easy."

As the show's charity turned a corner, so did the Royal Variety Performance itself.

2013's show was, however, a daunting prospect following the huge production and financial success of the previous year's 'Royal Albert Hall Centenary Production', attended by Her Majesty The Queen in her Diamond Jubilee year.

'How do you top that?' everyone questioned. Well to start with, where better to begin the start of a new centenary for the world's longest running and most successful show, than back at its spiritual home of the London Palladium.

Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were back in attendance for the first time since the attack on their car during the student riots of 2010. Security was tight, but it didn't dampen a hugely entertaining evening.

Liverpudlian comedian, John Bishop, took on the role of host for the first time and speaking of his Royal debut, he said, "As a child, the Royal Variety Show was like the Grand National and the FA Cup Final - it was something our family always watched (the only difference being we didn't bet on the winner!). To host a show with such heritage is something I never imagined I would do and I trust my parents will be proud when they take their seats in the audience, although I have told my Dad not to shout 'Come on son!'...it's not a match or a horse race!"

The show was opened by a spectacular multi-artist production by Gary Barlow OBE. who performed a debut of his new hit, 'Let Me Go". Gary said "I love the Royal Variety Show, there's not many shows that can claim to stand the test of time like this one. It's always such a lovely night the whole family can enjoy. I know if I wasn't performing on it, I'd be watching it!"

A true variety bill was presented including dance from Torvill & Dean and Flavia Cacace and the cast of Dance 'Till Dawn. Comedy was in abundance for Their Royal Highnesses with highly entertaining slots from Jimmy Carr, Seann Walsh and Jason Byrne, but the most memorable comic slot came from Dame Edna Everage, who entered the Royal Box as part of her set, pretending she was lost in an attempt to find the best seat in the house! It provided a hugely entertaining bit of fun for the royal guests.

Pop music was also in abundance from John Newman, Mary J Blige, Rizzle Kicks and the amazing Jessie J.

Olly Murs closed the first half and was joined on stage by a surprise appearance from Robbie Williams!  Ollie and Robbie performed a massively entertaining song and dance duet of 'I Wanna Be Like You' - The Monkey Song from the Jungle Book!

West-End musicals were represented by Sam Mendes' Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Harry Hill's new X-Factor musical, 'I Can't Sing' and Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber's new musical, Stephen Ward, about the Profumo scandal of the 1960's.

Bryn Terfel, Caro Emerald, together with Hungarian shadow artistes (and Britain's Got Talent winners), Attraction, added to the variety flavour of the night, which was rounded off by the appearance of Chas and Dave for the first time on the show!

A hugely entertaining Finale included the entire cast singing Chas and Dave's 1983 hit 'London Girls'!


Host and Performers


John Bishop is one of the UK’s biggest names in comedy. Within three years 
of his first gig, John was playing to sell-out arenas and had become the 
fastest selling stand up on DVD in UK history. 


“We are truly honoured to be invited to be a part of this years Royal Variety  Performance.” Christopher Dean “Tonight we are going to get our skates on like you have never seen us skate before!” Jayne Torvill & Christopher  Dean have been wowing audiences worldwide with their innovative and  daring skating performances for more than thirty years. 


Jordan “Rizzle” Stephens and Harley “Sylvester” Alexander-Sule – better  known as Rizzle Kicks - have rocketed to fame since their first official single  ‘Down With The Trumpets’ reached number 8 in the charts in 2011, and the  hit ‘Mama Do The Hump’ peaked at number 2 in 2012.


‘I Can’t Sing’ is the upcoming musical comedy written by Harry Hill, directed  by double Olivier Award winner Sean Foley and with music and lyrics by Steve Brown. Promising a sidesplittingly funny original score, eye-popping  sets and some contestants and judges who may seem oddly familiar, the  show exposes the (allegedly) true story behind the biggest talent show on  TV, through the eyes of a pair of star crossed lovers pitted against each other as contestants.


Jessie J’s career started early, commencing at nine with a starring role on  the West End. Her debut album, “Who You Are” was released in 2011 and  quickly made her an international multi-platinum selling superstar with two  number one singles in the UK including “Price Tag” and “Domino”.  By 2013 she had topped the chart in no fewer than 19 countries and had  performed at the Olympics and at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert.


"It is exciting and a huge pleasure to be part of the Royal Variety Show  and to follow in so many of my heroes' footsteps, especially Tommy  Cooper's, this one's for you Tommy!" Irish comedian Jason Byrne's shows  are infamous for his playful audience interaction


Iconic Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and actress with album sales in excess of 50 million, Mary J. Blige has completed her first-ever  Christmas album ‘A Mary Christmas.’ The album features Blige's soulful  interpretation of classic Christmas numbers including ‘Have Yourself a  Merry Little Christmas’ and ‘The Christmas Song’. Blige is joined by a  number of A-list guests, including Barbra Streisand and Jessie J. 



Flavia Cacace is an internationally renowned dancer who holds competitive  titles in Argentine Tango, Ballroom and Showdance with her dance partner  Vincent Simone. Best known for seven years as a firm favourite of BBC’s  Strictly Come Dancing, 2012 saw Flavia win the series with celebrity partner  Louis Smith. Vincent & Flavia.


Olly Murs first burst onto the scene in 2009 as a contestant on the X Factor, and has since become one of the biggest success stories the show has ever  produced. In fact he is the most successful male solo artist to ever graduate  from it. He has three studio albums (two of which reached number one) and  four number one singles under his belt. He has sold out arenas throughout  the UK and played to packed venues in the US and Australia amongst others.


Roald Dahl’s deliciously dark tale of young Charlie Bucket and mysterious confectioner Willy Wonka comes to life in a new West End musical directed by Sam Mendes, with Douglas Hodge playing Willy Wonka. When Charlie wins a golden ticket to the Wonka Chocolate Factory, it's the chance to feast on the sweets he's always dreamed of. But beyond the gates astonishment awaits, as the five lucky winners discover not everything is as sweet as it seems.


Carr has performed at the Royal Variety Performance twice in his illustrious  career as a comic; in fact, one of his very first TV appearances was at the 2002 show. His deadpan delivery, lightning fast wit and fiercely intelligent  puns have since earned him a growing reputation as a truly international star.


“We’re extremely excited to have won Britain’s Got Talent and we can’t  wait to perform to the Royal Family – it is a huge honour” Attraction  are a 9 strong Hungarian group who won Britain's Got Talent with their  mesmerising Shadow Act. Attraction were the first foreign performers to  win Britain's largest talent competition. Their first performance instantly  grabbed the attention of the public and was seen by more than 50  million viewers around the world.


Through his nationwide search Gareth Malone has assembled the country’s  finest young talent, the 17 members of Gareth Malone’s Voices are between  18-27 years of age. Gareth Malone the “UK’s most recognisable choirmaster”  describes the new album Voices as a “watershed moment” for choral singing,  which treads uncharted territory by mixing lush, choral textures with  innovative and contemporary recording techniques on tracks like  “A Little Respect” “Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart” and “Nights In White Satin.”


This is Hal’s second time on the Royal Variety Performance, having performed previously in 2009. One of the top comedians working in  the UK today, Hal’s unique perspective on life sets him apart as a  true original. With recent television appearances including ‘Live at the Apollo,’ ‘Have I Got News For You,’ and ‘Mock the Week,’ Hal is a firm favourite in both the stand up circuit and world of comedy panel shows.


John Newman erupted onto the UK music scene in 2012, when he lent his distinctive gravelly vocals to dance band Rudimental’s number 1 ‘Feel  The Love.’ The track established the artist as a powerful new voice in  UK R&B, an impression reinforced by his charttopper ‘Love Me Again’  in July 2013.


Bryn Terfel has built his towering international reputation by singing key roles by Mozart, Verdi and Puccini, and in recent years has  distinguished himself as one of the great Wagnerian singers of the age. A thoroughbred classical singer, he can comfortably tackle songs by  Rodgers and Hammerstein or music theatre roles. Nevertheless,  Bryn felt that his trip to the Rocky Mountains to make Homeward Bound  with the Mormon Tabernacle choir was another new departure.


Dame Edna Everage is a globally acclaimed “gigastar”, unmistakeable for her greeting “Hello possums!” She began a stage career in the 1950s  in Australia before moving to London, making her London West End debut  in 1976, and becoming a Dame the same decade. During the 1980s and ‘90s she became an internationally recognised televised personality, receiving four BAFTA Award nominations for her television specials and her talk show  The Dame Edna Experience.


Stephen Ward charts the rise and fall from grace of the man at the centre  of the Profumo scandal. Friend to film stars, spies, models, government ministers and aristocrats; his rise and ultimate disgrace coincided with the increasingly permissive lifestyle of London’s elite in the early 1960s.


The stylish multi-award winning Caro Emerald makes her debut Royal  Variety Performance today. The Dutch singer’s second album  ‘The Shocking Miss Emerald’ topped the UK charts earlier this year, rivalling the amazing success of her debut record, 2010’s ‘Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor’. Caro’s signature blend of vintage jazz  mixed with calypso, bossa nova, hip-hop and lashings of brass has become a favourite on both the airwaves and the dance floor.


“Chas & Dave on the Royal Variety Performance? About time too, we say!”. 2013 marks fifty years since Charles Hodges and David Peacock first met. Better known as Chas & Dave they've carved out a place in the hearts of the nation with their musicianship, honesty, and pure and simple entertainment  value. But the story goes deeper than that; between them, they’ve worked  with and gained the respect of the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Paul  McCartney, Eric Clapton, Lonnie Donegan and many more.

Gary Barlow

Rising to fame in the nineties as one fifth of the pop sensation Take That,
Gary Barlow has continued to become one of Britain’s most accomplished 
singer songwriters as well as judge and mentor on The X Factor. He was 
recently named in the Queen’s birthday honours list and was awarded an
OBE for his huge contribution to British music as well as his significant 
charitable endeavours. 


2013 Edinburgh Fosters Comedy ‘Best Show’ Award nominee and star of Channel 4’s ‘Stand Up For The Week’, ‘Seann Walsh World’ and ‘Big Bad World’ for Comedy Central, BBC1’s ‘Live At The Apollo’ and ‘Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow’ Seann Walsh is the most frighteningly precocious talent to emerge from the UK comedy circuit in years.

25th November, 2013
The London Palladium

2013 Royal Variety Performance Programme, Show & Aftershow ticket