Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Behind the scenes at the Royal Variety Performance


You know it’s almost Christmas when the Royal Variety Performance is on in London.

And the Royal Albert Hall was in fine fettle last night as the show took to the stage for the 100th time.

One of the good things about my job is you get invited along to these things to meet the celebs as they rehearse during the day.

So yesterday morning, I took myself down to Kensington to do some glitzy hob-nobbing in the Royal Variety press room.

Robbie Williams, and Kylie Minogue decided they weren’t going to play ball and snubbed the press, leaving most of Fleet Street's elite, who had been there all day, just a little frustrated.

Maybe they consider themselves above talking to the British media? In any case, they have both taken a descent in my estimation.

That aside, most of the others with equally busy schedules managed to spare a few minutes to come and have a chat.

Of course, the stars of the show were Britain’s Got Talent winners, dancing dog act Pudsey and Ashleigh.

Pudsey, after having spent the morning practicing his moves for Her Majesty the queen was slightly hot and bothered and spent most of the time draped over a table.

A slightly nervous Ashleigh was on good form though.

I asked her if Pudsey had become a diva with all the attention he has received not just in the UK but around the world.

“No, not at all,” she said.

“He doesn’t really know who anybody is and doesn’t get star struck even though we are in the Royal Albert Hall about to do the Royal Variety.”

She mentioned there is talk of a Pudsey film, with him as the star, although said she couldn’t say much more than that.

He was certainly a hit with Britain’s got Talent judge and presenter Amanda Holden who said it was “brilliant” a dog had won the show.

She also said the Queen “is a nut”, before quickly backtracking and clarifying she meant “ a dog nut”.

“I can she the headline now,” she said as I scurried to get her quote down.

“What I meant is, she is a dog nut, she loves dogs so I am sure Pudsey is going to be a massive hit.”

She went on to give a few observations on the Queen and Prince Philip.

“I am sure they still fancy each other,” she said.

We also had a chat with comedians Bradley Walsh and Jimmy Tarbuck.

Unfortunately for Coronation Street fans who were hoping for a return of Danny Baldwin to the show, Bradley said it is out of the question as he is “too busy”.

He did say he was excited to see Andrea Bocelli perform being a massive fan.

“He is one of my favourite singers,” he said.

“I have been doing this show since 1993, but it is always an honour to meet the Queen.

“I am sharing a dressing room with Jimmy Tarbuck and Sir Bruce Forsyth so it’s great fun, it’s lovely to see them both and I’m thrilled to have been asked.”

The ever humble Jimmy, despite doing this show for the past 64 years, said he is always honoured to meet the queen.

“You can’t get any bigger or better than this,” he said.

“it is a wonderful honour  to be asked. I think the Queen is a wonderful wonderful ambassador for our country, God bless her.

“May she continue for many, many years to come. I love her, I think she’s great.”

Bit of a fan then?!

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