'Delighted' Hugh Bonneville announced as King's coronation concert host

Hugh Bonneville and King Charles III
More big names have been announced for the coronation, including Hugh Bonneville (left) Credit: PA

Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville said he is "delighted" to be the host of the King's Coronation Concert, as several new performers were announced for the historic occasion.

New names on the line-up include members of the Royal Ballet, the Royal Opera, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal College of Music and the Royal College of Art.

The royal patronages will come together for the first time to create a one-off performance featuring Sex Education and Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa and Olivier Award nominee Mei Mac.

It adds to a start-studded line-up, with Take That, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie among the previously announced acts, who will play on the grounds of Windsor Castle in front of 20,000 people on May 7.

Based around themes of love and togetherness, the newly unveiled collaborative performance will combine music, dance, art and theatre in what will be the ultimate royal collaboration, the BBC said.

Hugh Bonneville Credit: BBC/PA

An arrangement of a classic song from West Side Story will be performed, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, performed by members of the Royal Opera Chorus. Royal Ballet principal dancers Francesca Hayward and Marcelino Sambe will perform a bespoke piece of choreography for the occasion.

Meanwhile a visual backdrop projected on to Windsor Castle and the stage will showcase artwork by students from the Royal College of Art.

A string quartet comprising of Royal College of Music students will perform as soloists – Katherine Yoon and Betania Johnny on violin, Declan Wicks on viola and Marion Portelance, who will be playing a cello once owned and played by the King.

Sex Education and Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa will feature in May 7's show. Credit: PA

Downton Abbey star Bonneville said: “I’m delighted to be taking part in this unique event, celebrating the best of musical entertainment in honour of His Majesty’s coronation. “In true British style, come rain or shine it will be a night to remember.” The BBC said Bonneville will set the scene for the evening’s entertainment and introduce each artist as they take to the stage. The line-up will also include Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel, singer-songwriter Freya Ridings and classical-soul composer Alexis Ffrench.

Royal Ballet will also be performing. Credit: ITV News Central

The show will feature a performance from the Coronation Choir, created with community choirs and amateur singers from across the UK. They will appear alongside the Virtual Choir, which is made up of singers from across the Commonwealth for a special performance on the night. The centrepiece of the concert will be the Lighting Up The Nation, where locations across the UK will light up using projections, lasers, drone displays and illuminations. The concert will be broadcast live from the grounds of Windsor Castle on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds.

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