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The One to Watch – Royal Variety Performance

The Queen is on her way to Liverpool for the big event next Monday. But what's the story?

Published on November 27th 2007.

The One to Watch – Royal Variety Performance

Shouldn't this item be called "The One One Watches?" One might say that, for necks will be craned and everyone will be watching everyone else next Monday when Her Maj comes to town.

Does One mean the Queen? One does. The red carpet will be rolled over the uneven pavement of Lime Street, and the pot holes plugged, to welcome her to the Empire Theatre for the 79th edition of the TV show.

Ooh! Brucie's coming then? One fears not. The legendary compere of countless Royal Variety Performances is handing the court jestering baton to Phillip Schofield and former X-Factor presenter Kate Thornton this year.

They could have asked Pete Price. But they didn't.

There is nothing like a dame... Shirley Bassey's on, surely? Not this time. The Queen will be entertained by another dame, soprano Kiri Te Kanewa, and James Blunt, he of the even higher pitched voice. But Bon Jovi tops the bill.

She must be be very excited. As patron of the Entertainment Artistes Benevolent Fund, the show is on the Queen's to-do list, alongside the regular dental check-up and dinner with George Bush.

Every year? Almost. The show has run since 1912. However world conflict has led to the cancellation of 16 performances in the past. And we can all talk about big gigs being cancelled around here if the Queen brings the subject up.

Who else might we spot in X In The City afterwards? Russell Brand, maybe. Enrique Iglesias, Seal, Darcy Bussell and the cast of the London musical Hairspray. They are all doing a turn. Also Big Howard, Little Howard.

Who's Big Howard? Who's Little Howard? You must know who he is: The virtual comedian?

You mean like Tarby? No, I mean the six-year-old animated "standing-up comic" who appears on a laptop or projection screen, interacting with Big Howard and the audience. Oh, and he plays the ukelele.

Speaking of ukeleles, is it time for the John Lennon joke yet? The one about rattling the jewellery? No, Tarby can have that.

Don't say: When's Doddy on?

Don't say either: Fancy a swift one in the Head of Steam, Ma'am?

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