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Prince Charles will send a message to a virtual audience at the Royal Variety Performance this year but won’t attend, as the show adapts to the pandemic restrictions.
Members of the Royal Family traditionally attend the event in person, with the Queen attending on 39 occasions.
But the show will have a virtual audience this year as it returns to the north of England for the first time in nine years.
Charles, 72, who hasn’t attended since 2016, will this year record a video message of support for the Royal Variety Charity, of which his mother is patron.
Money raised supports people in entertainment.
The show will be hosted by comedian Jason Manford from the Blackpool Opera House in the Winter Gardens Complex.
It was last held in Blackpool in 2009, and was last outside London in 2011, when it was held at the Lowry Theatre in Salford.
The Queen last attended in 2012 with her husband Prince Philip, but in recent years the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge or the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have attended instead.
Acts this year include Captain Sir Tom Moore, who the Queen knighted in a special ceremony in July, who will perform his cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone with Michael Ball.
Sheridan Smith will reprise her role of Cilla Black for a performance from Cilla The Musical and Samantha Barks from Frozen The Musical will also perform.
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.”
Giles Cooper, chair 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.”
Last year Prince William and Kate attended the show at the London Palladium, where it was hosted by Romesh Ranganathan and Rob Beckett.
In 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan attended the show.