Royal Variety Performance unveils first comic presenting duo in over 30 years

Sir Rod Stewart will top the bill at the annual event.

Press Association
Last updated: 10 October 2019 - 12.11am

Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan will present the Royal Variety Performance as the first comedic two-hander in over 30 years.

Ronnie Corbett and Bruce Forsyth were the last comedians to host the vaunted variety show as a pair in 1988, an event which saw Kylie Minogue and Sir Cliff Richard take to the stage.

This year’s edition of the annual event, the world’s longest running entertainment show, will be held at the London Palladium on November 18, in the presence of members of the Royal Family.

Teenage Cancer Trust Concert 2019 – London
Romesh Ranganathan (Matt Crossick/PA)

They will be joined by Sir Rod Stewart for his third performance at the event.

The Maggie May singer tops a star-studded line-up that also includes Lewis Capaldi and Mabel, Hollywood star Luke Evans, comedy act Flo and Joan and a performance from the Tony and Olivier-award winning musical Come From Away.

Emeli Sande will also return to the London Palladium to sing with Manchester’s Bee Vocal Choir, formed to inspire those with mental health issues.

TV regular Beckett said he was “absolutely thrilled and honoured” to be hosting the Royal Variety Performance.

Rob Beckett BBC Head Hunters
Rob Beckett (Isabel Infantes/PA)

“I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to be hosting the Royal Variety Performance with one of my best friends and best comedians in the country, Romesh Ranganathan,” he said.

“My mum and dad love Rod Stewart more than me and can’t wait to see him perform.

“Fingers crossed they will stay and watch me and Rom host the rest of the show once Rod has finished his set.”

Ranganathan, however, joked that having to host alongside Beckett took “the gloss off the honour”.

Celtic v Aberdeen – Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park
Rod Stewart (Jeff Holmes/PA)

He said: “It is obviously amazing to be asked to host The Royal Variety Performance.

“Being asked to do so alongside Rob Beckett is both exciting as well as slightly taking the gloss off the honour.”

The Royal Variety Performance will also feature an excerpt from Mary Poppins, which is returning to the West End starring Zizi Strallen as Mary Poppins, Charlie Stemp as Bert and Petula Clark as the bird woman.

Grammy and Emmy-award winning US composer Harry Connick Jr will also make his Royal Variety debut.

They join the previously announced Colin Thackery, who secured the right to perform to the Royal Family when he triumphed as Britain’s Got Talent’s oldest winner.

The Royal Variety Performance will air on ITV on Monday November 18.

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