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         Royal Variety Performances
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The Royal Variety Performances were annually televised charity events which had their fair share of chart talent on view. The first Royal Variety Performance (then known as the Royal Command Performance) took place on 1st July 1912 at the Palace Theatre in Londonís West End. King George V and Queen Mary attended.
It was stopped during the First World War but became an annual event in 1921. The Royal Variety Performance provides most of the funding for Brinsworth House, a home for retired members of the entertainment profession and their dependants.

It had only been cancelled four times - for Royal mourning in 1936, the Second World War, the 1956 Suez crisis and in 1959 when the Queen was pregnant with Prince Andrew. When George VI was too ill to attend the show in 1951, it was relayed to his sickbed in Buckingham Palace. Although the Royal Variety Performance had already been an annual event for 40 years, it wasn't until 1960 that it was allowed to be televised. Theatre owners were always worried that over-exposure would prevent people from going to see variety live. Soon to become the main television event to be associated with Bernard Delfont, the first televised 'Royal Variety Show' was held on May 16th 1960 and transmitted on Sunday 22nd May across the entire ITV network. It was held in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Duke Of Edinburgh, topping the television ratings with over 8 million viewers.

The May 16th 1960 show was held at The Victoria Palace, London, and produced for ATV television by Bill Ward.

tx May 22nd 1960

The full performance cast of the first televised show was:

The John Barry Seven, Al Burnett, Sheila Buxton, Max Bygraves, Pearl Carr, Ronnie Carroll, Alma Cogan, Nat 'King' Cole, Russ Conway, The Crazy Gang, Billy Cotton and his Band, The Croft Twins, Sammy Davis Jr., Dickie Dawson, Lonnie Donegan, Diana Dors, Charlie Drake, Shirley Eaton, Jimmy Edwards, Ivor Emmanuel, Adam Faith, The Fol De Rols, Bruce Forsyth, Hughie Green, Benny Hill, Ronnie Hilton, Sheila Holt & Tom Gilles, Robert Horton, Frankie Howerd, Hattie Jacques, Bryan Johnson, Teddy Johnson, Kazbec & Lari, The Ken-Tones, Liberace, Dennis Lotis, Vera Lynn, The Lynton Boys, Alfred Marks, Millicent Martin, Glen Mason, Gary Miller, Bob Monkhouse, Jackie Rae, Joan Regan, Sonia Rees, Cliff Richard and The Shadows, Marion Ryan, Janette Scott, Anne Shelton, The Silhouettes, The Tiller Girls, Dickie Valentine, The Vernons Girls, The Welsh Children's Choir, Norman Wisdom, Harry Worth and Yana

After 1961 television transmission was shared alternately between BBC and ITV
Pop chart headliners appearing in subsequent years included:

tx November 12th 1961

Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball, The Temperance Seven, Shirley Bassey
Nina and Frederik, Frankie Vaughan

tx November 4th 1962

Frank Ifield, Cliff Richard and The Shadows, Andy Stewart

tx November 10th 1963

The Beatles, Susan Maughan, Los Paraguayos, Tommy Steele, Pinky and Perky, Harry Secombe


tx November 8th 1964

The Bachelors, Cilla Black, Kathy Kirby, Brenda Lee, Millicent Martin
Cliff Richard and The Shadows

David Jacobs introduced the four top female stars of the time: Cilla, Millicent, Brenda and Kathy
each making their entrance in a top of the range sports car via the Palladium's revolving stage.

tx November 14th 1965

Shirley Bassey, Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore, The Dave Clark Five
Tony Bennett, Johnny Halliday, The Kaye Sisters, Peter Paul and Mary
Frank Ifield, Dusty Springfield


The Bachelors, Matt Monro, Gene Pitney, Tommy Steele

tx November 19th 1967

Vikki Carr, Val Doonican, Rolf Harris, Tom Jones, Lulu, The Rockin' Berries, Sandie Shaw


Petula Clark, Sacha Distel, Val Doonican, Engelbert Humperdinck, Diana Ross and The Supremes


Herb Alpert, Moira Anderson, Cilla Black, Tom Jones, Mireille Matthieu


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