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The Royal Variety Performance 2017

Published: Tue 19 Dec 2017

The Royal Variety Performance 2017
Broadcasts Tuesday 19 December at 7.30pm on ITV
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Queen of comedy, Miranda Hart, hosts this year’s Royal Variety Performance in the presence of their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Opening the show with the classic show tune ‘There’s no business like show business,’ Miranda lists off her ‘To Do’ or ‘Tad-Dah’ list, which she hopes to achieve by the end of her hosting duties. These include things like leap frogging Kelsey Grammer
At the start of the show, Miranda says: “What an honour it is to be hosting this evening, and you’ll be pleased to hear that the status of the event hasn’t changed me at all… Get me my throne now! I just insist on a throne being bought on by two dancers,” she jokes, “Throne Envy?” she asks the Duke and Duchess.
Miranda goes on: “If you know me at all, you know that I want to encourage people to jolly life up where possible because life can be tough, so I expect some galloping in here tonight. If you don’t know why, it’s because I’m on a life mission for adults to reclaim the gallop from toddlers. Don’t tell me the world wouldn’t be a better place with adults galloping. I offer it up to the young Royals as a way to liven up a formal event. It could be fun - a service at Westminster with the Royal family galloping down the aisle followed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, ideally with the Black Beauty theme music piped in on the organ.”
After the West End cast of ‘Annie’ performs, one of the young performers asks HRH Prince William if he might gallop and he does so, to much applause.
Later in the show, Miranda is joined by the cast of Miranda, Patricia Hodge, Sally Phillips and Sarah Hadland in a special and much anticipated reunion!
They perform a special sketch as Penny, Tilly and Stevie alongside Miranda, in her role. Penny realises her adoration for Kelsey Grammar as the pair meet and Miranda is subsequently able to tick ‘leapfrogging over an American sitcom star’ off of her ‘To Do’ list.
Ahead of meeting the Royals, Miranda and Penny recruit help and advice in a ‘How to Bow’ sketch. 
“I think we need someone with experience, someone with an honour, maybe we need a Lord to help us,” Miranda starts before television and film actor, Hugh Bonneville, joins the stage. 
“Lord Grantham at your service! I was in Downton Abbey for six years… At Downton we bow like this,” he says, before demonstrating a discrete bow of the head.
“I think we need someone with a real honour, someone with an OBE,” Miranda says. Michael Ball appears on the stage, saying: “Bows and curtseys are actually my forte. I’ve obviously sung the national anthem, got the OBE, been to the Palace…” he smiles up at the Royal box.
When Miranda and Penny decide that perhaps his bows are too extravagant, Miranda says, “I think we need someone with theatrical experience for the bow, that might help.”
Michael Ball jokes that Hugh Bonneville’s bow was ‘like a waiter taking a wine order’ while Hugh believes Michael’s bow had too much flair.
Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean join the stage as ““Figure skaters and OBEs at your service” and perform a dancing bow and curtsey.
“I tell you what would be ideal, if we had an actual Dame” Miranda says.
“Did someone ask for an actual Dame?” Dame Joan Collins says as she glides onto the stage and performs the ultimate curtsey to the Royals.
Comedian Jason Manford performs stand up, and has a special joke for the Royals.
“One of the things I wanted to do tonight was offer congratulations for your new baby due [next year]... You’re finally joined my club, Outnumbered!” As he references his five children and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge laugh.
Later in the show, Miranda presents a tribute to the late Bruce Forsyth.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it’s now time for a reflective moment. Earlier this year we lost one of our country's’ greatest entertainers, a legendary show man whose career spanned an awe inspiring eight decades. I’m talking of course about the one and only Sir Bruce Forsyth. Four years ago, I had the absolute joy and honour of interviewing Sir Bruce on this very stage as he reminisced about his career. He hadn’t been on the Palladium stage for many years and was not only immediately dancing and tapping and making jokes, but was clearly moved and a little misty eyed as he remembered the countless times he performed on this stage. I was really struck by his genuine passion, his dedication and commitment and hard work to entertain and boy did he do that… He really was the King of entertainment, Brucey we shall miss you and thank you.” Clips of Bruce presenting and appearing on the Royal Variety Performance over the years are played.
Other glittering performances on the night include - music from Paloma Faith, The Killers, Seal, Louis Tomlinson, The Script, Michael Ball & Alfie Boe and Beverly Knight, Amber Riley and Cassidy Janson as The Leading Ladies. Britain’s Got Talent winner, Tokio Myers performs plus there is a surprise skit by the cast of Benidorm. Cirque Du Soleil and the incredible Circus Abyssinia perform as well as the cast of ‘42nd Street.’ There is mind blowing mind reading from Colin Cloud and comedy from Tom Allen.