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“It was almost the Royal Scottish Variety show this year”

© Kenny Smith Photography Lewis Capaldi will perform at The Royal Variety Show 2019.
Lewis Capaldi will perform at The Royal Variety Show 2019.

It was almost the Royal Scottish Variety Show this year. If it wasn’t for Rod Stewart pulling out of proceedings – following a throat infection – then there would have been three Scots (well, Rod’s an honorary Scot anyway) in the line-up.

Emeli Sandé will be joined by Manchester’s Bee Vocal Choir for a performance held in aid of mental health.

And Scotland’s newest pop star – and prime patter merchant – Lewis Capaldi will perform a track from his record-breaking album Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent.

Comedian Rob Beckett will be joined on co-hosting duties with fellow funnyman, Romesh Ranganathan, host of Judge Romesh and The Ranganation.

Romesh said the pair had met up to prepare for the show in advance – “which was a good excuse to get out of the house”.

“As usual this show will have something for everybody,” he said.

“The line-up is great and even if you hate me or more likely Rob, it will still be a great show.

“Rob and I have been meeting at the pub to work on what we’re going to do.

“It sounds deeply unprofessional but we can’t go to our houses as my kids love Rob and will just pester us the whole time. His kids are fairly indifferent to me. My mum phones me regularly to tell me she can’t believe it. My wife and kids reacted in a way that suggested this is the first thing I’m doing that they actually think is a big deal.

“We will be bringing our own flavour to it. Rob and I will be having fun with some of the acts. I’m sort of answering this question in the vaguest way possible as I don’t want to give anything away.”

The cast of West End musical Mary Poppins will perform, and American piano star Harry Connick Jr will also appear.

The Royal Variety Performance, of course, wouldn’t be the show it is without some very special guests in the audience.

But performing in front of the Royal family has been a worry for Romesh.

“It’s a great watch for the family as it hits all bases, plus I always enjoy seeing the royals react to what’s going on.

“My biggest fear is that I’ll be in the middle of something and the camera pans to them looking utterly bored.

“My favourite thing has been watching The Play That Goes Wrong smash The Royal Variety Performance in 2015 and then go on to become megastars.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing them back this year.”


The Royal Variety Show, Tue, Dec 10, 7.30pm