When is the Royal Variety Performance on TV this December? Who’s hosting, and what’s the line-up?

The full low-down on this year's performers – and the royals who will be attending

Duchess of Sussex attends the Royal Variety show (Getty)

The Royal Variety Performance has hosted the best of British talent since 1912, with a range of singers, comedians and performers taking to the stage in order to raise money for the Royal Variety Charity.

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This year’s showbiz showcase, held at the London Palladium on 19th November, was attended by Prince Harry alongside his wife of six months Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.

Having been held for over a century, this year’s line-up follows in the footsteps of previous performers, including Michael Buble, Omid Djalili and One Direction.

But who is taking to the famous stage? Here’s everything you need to know.

When is the Royal Variety Performance 2018 on TV?

The show will be televised on 11th December from 7.30pm on ITV.

Who is hosting The Royal Variety Performance 2018?

This year’s show is fronted by comedian Greg Davies, recognisable for his role as curmudgeonly teacher Mr Gilbert in The Inbetweeners, as well as the co-host of Taskmaster.

Greg Davies talks to Radio Times about Taskmaster

He follows in the footsteps of BBC favourite Miranda Hart, who took the reins from 2016 host David Walliams.

Speaking ahead of the big night, Davies, 50, explained, “I am delighted to host the Royal Variety. It is a role that I am wildly unsuited to and I will no doubt offend a great many people, but my mum has a voracious appetite for meeting members of the Royal Family and this seems a reasonable price to pay for the gift of life.”

Which acts are signed up for this year’s Royal Variety Performance?

As always, it’s a veritable feast of talent in this year’s gala, with some of the biggest names in comedy, music and theatre entertaining the royals, and the nation.

Take That – mainstays of the Royal Variety performance (this year marks their fifth time performing for the Windsors), Gary Barlow and co belt out some of the band’s best-loved hits.

The Hamilton cast – the critically-acclaimed musical, which tells the life of American founding father Alexander Hamilton, wowed audiences when it hit the West End in 2017. If you haven’t managed to grab tickets to the most popular musical in town (it’s now had its run extended until March 2019) the cast were at the Palladium to sing some of the musical’s most famous hits.

Meghan Markle and Take That at the Royal Variety Performance 2018 (Getty)
Meghan Markle and Take That at the Royal Variety Performance 2018

George Ezra – following on from the success of his huge second album, Staying at Tamara’s (it went Platinum in the UK and landed in the top 10 in eight other countries), Budapest singer George Ezra brings his dulcet tones to the Palladium.

Clean Bandit – the electronic meets classical pop group, comprised of Grace Chatto and brothers Jack and Luke Patterson, perform their unique musical stylings in front of the royals.

Tina: The Musical cast – the feel-good musical, which tells the life and times of Tina Turner, was greeted with a warm reception when it officially opened in April this year. With the show due on Broadway in 2019, the cast croon some of the musical’s best medleys.

Clean Bandit (Getty)
Clean Bandit

Andrea Bocelli and his son Matteo – having Celine Dion compare his voice to ‘what God must sound like’, Italian singer Andrea Bocelli shows that his dulcet tones are all in the genes, as he will be joined on stage by son Matteo.

Lost Voice Guy – this year’s Britain’s Got Talent winner, comedian Lost Voice Guy (Lee Ridley) follows in the footsteps of Paul Potts and Diversity to perform in front of the Royal Family. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which was brought about by a brain infection at just six months, Ridley’s movement was affected and he was rendered unable to speak. However, he rose to prominence after Britain’s Got Talent, impressing Simon Cowell and co with his comedy routine which relies on communication aids.

Rick Astley – having sold an impressive 40 million records worldwide, singer and meme sensation Rick Astley sings his greatest hits for Harry and Meghan – likely to include crowd pleaser Never Gonna Give You Up.

Rhod Gilbert – Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert takes a break from The Apprentice: You’re Fired and returns to his stand-up roots on stage.

Britain's Got Talent - Lost Voice Guy
Britain’s Got Talent – Lost Voice Guy

Cirque du Soleil – the Canadian-based contemporary circus is now one of the biggest acts in the world, with over 90 million people thought to have seen a Cirque show worldwide. Performing on the Bazar leg of their tour, the troop show off some of their death-defying acrobatics.

Sigrid – Norwegian singer Sigrid was brought to the public’s attention after she scooped the prestigious BBC Music Sound of 2018 Award, thanks to the success of her international hit Don’t Kill My Vibe.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason – the recipient of the 2016 BBC Young Musician of the Year Award (and the first black musician to do so since the accolade’s inception), performing for royalty is no big deal for Kanneh-Mason – he played for Meghan and Harry at their wedding earlier this year.

Circus 1903 – another contemporary circus, the American-based troop bring a segment of their well-loved Vegas show to the UK for the Royal Variety Performance.

Gad Elmaleh – the Moroccan-born French stand-up comedian was voted ‘the funniest person in France’, with his acerbic, observational comedy seeing him compared to Jerry Seinfeld.

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Rod Woodward – a rising star on the comedy scene (with Pete Kaye describing him as a young Dave Allen) Rod Woodward returns to the Royal Variety show after having Prince William and Kate Middleton in stitches in 2014 (the amused kind, of course).


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