The Royal Variety Performance is coming to Blackpool Opera House and will be hosted by Jason Manford

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The Royal Variety Performance is returning to Blackpool after 11 years and stars will include Gary Barlow, Spice Girl Melanie C and Captain Tom Moore.

Comedian, actor and singer Jason Manford is to host the show at the Opera House.

Prince Charles will deliver a special message to the charity and the artists performing in the show, as he looks forward to this exceptional evening of entertainment.

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Returning to the North after nine years, the show promises to be an unforgettable evening of exceptional performers, world class British theatre and superb comedy, plus some exciting surprises.

Jason Manford will host the Royal Variety Performance at BlackpoolJason Manford will host the Royal Variety Performance at Blackpool
Jason Manford will host the Royal Variety Performance at Blackpool

The stellar line-up includes the inspirational and much-loved Captain Sir Thomas Moore who captured the nation’s hearts with his fundraising efforts during the pandemic.

He will be joining forces from his home for an exclusive performance with legendary singer and entertainer Michael Ball who will be on stage at the Opera House with the NHS choir to perform their chart-topping anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.

There will also be a special solo appearance by British superstar Gary Barlow.

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The evening will also herald the welcome return of musical theatre with an exclusive performance from the award-winning Sheridan Smith as Cilla in the heart-warming and spectacular

Gary Barlow will perform at the Royal Variety Performance in BlackpoolGary Barlow will perform at the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool
Gary Barlow will perform at the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool

Cilla The Musical and a exclusive from Frozen the Musical starring leading lady Samantha Barks.

There’s more music from Brit Award winner and rising star Celeste, singer and Spice Girl Melanie C and high energy choreography from the eternally popular Steps.

Magic from TV presenter Stephen Mulhern, a performance from West End sensation Marisha Wallace as well as a high octane aperformance from Kenyan acrobats The Black Blues Brothers.

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Also taking to the stage with a specially composed performance, will be musical comedian and Britain’s Got Talent 2020 winner Jon Courtenay. Plus more comedy from stand ups Jo Caulfield and Daliso Chaponda.

Spice Girl Melanie C will perform at the Royal Variety Performance in BlackpoolSpice Girl Melanie C will perform at the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool
Spice Girl Melanie C will perform at the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool

Jason Manford said: “After appearing at the Royal Variety Performance three times since 2009, it is an honour and a privilege to be hosting the show this year. It’s been a hugely difficult year for everybody, so I hope that for a couple of hours on a cold Winter’s night in Blackpool, we can take people’s minds off things and do what us Brits do best; have a laugh. The event is staged in aid of the Royal Variety Charity, whose patron is Her Majesty The Queen. The money raised from the show helps those people from the world of entertainment in need of care and assistance.”

The event marks a royal return to the resort for Jason who also performed at 11 years ago.

The star studded spectacular will be screened on ITV in December. It will be produced by ITV Studios.

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Giles Cooper, Chairman of the Royal Variety Charity said: “The Royal Variety Charity is thrilled that the Royal Variety Performance will be held in Blackpool this year. We have worked relentlessly to ensure that we can produce a Royal Variety Performance in some shape or form to raise much needed funds at this critical time.

“We are honoured that His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has recorded a message of support for our charity, which continues to assist those from the world of entertainment, both young and old, since our formation in 1908.

“In 2020 our grants scheme has continued to operate throughout the United Kingdom, providing financial help for those from the world of entertainment, in all its forms.

“The Royal Variety Charity is proud to have been of assistance to those working in the industry during this particularly difficult year”.

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“Due to the current national lockdown restrictions, we are now not able to have a live audience, and all the artists and crew will be strictly observing social-distancing and other safety measures.

“However, we are pleased to announce that a virtual audience featuring key workers, including NHS staff from the Blackpool region and Royal Variety Charity supporters, will be able to enjoy the show.

“As usual, the theatrical show will be edited for broadcast on ITV1 a couple of weeks later and then throughout the World, including several Commonwealth countries.

“This will be the third time the Royal Variety Performance has been to Blackpool, having previously been held there in 1955 and 2009, both times being attended by the Royal Variety‘s sole Patron, Her Majesty The Queen, and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

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The show was last held in Blackpool in 2009. This is the first time the event has left London since 2011 when it was held at Salford’s Lowry Theatre.

In 2009 the 81st Royal Variety Performance was staged in Blackpool, the first in the resort since 1955.

Hosted by comedian Peter Kay, the show also included performances from Lady GaGa, dance troupe Diversity, singer Katherine Jenkins and Broadway and Hollywood legend Bette Midler.

They were joined by singer Michael Buble and opera star Andre Rieu alongside scores of other artists.

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