Sam Ryder among stars praising the Queen ahead of Platinum Party at the Palace

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Sam Ryder (Doug Peters/PA) (PA Wire)
Sam Ryder (Doug Peters/PA) (PA Wire)

Eurovision star Sam Ryder and Diversity’s Ashley Banjo are among the stars praising the Queen’s service ahead of their performances at the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace concert.

The special event celebrating the Queen’s 70-year Jubilee will be opened by Queen + Adam Lambert, while soul singer Diana Ross will close the concert, which will be broadcast live on BBC One on Saturday evening.

Ryder, who was runner-up in the recent Eurovision song contest while representing the UK, is among the star-studded line-up who will entertain a live crowd of 22,000 people and a television audience of millions.

Ashley Banjo, Perri Kiely and Jordan Banjo of Diversity are among the performers at the BBC Platinum Party at Palace (Doug Peters/PA) (PA Wire)
Ashley Banjo, Perri Kiely and Jordan Banjo of Diversity are among the performers at the BBC Platinum Party at Palace (Doug Peters/PA) (PA Wire)

Speaking backstage about the monarch’s 70 years on the throne, Ryder, 32, told the PA news agency he feels it is “so selfless to give your entire life to that service”.

He added: “How many of us could say that we could do that? It’s breathtaking. The way that she carries herself, it reminds us that strength can be gentle.

“I think that’s so important, to me all the time. To carry yourself in a way where you’re bringing so many people together in unity and solidarity but doing it with such a subtle kindness.”

The singer revealed that he got the call to do the Jubilee concert while on the bus home from Eurovision last month, which left him feeling like he was “overflowing with joy”.

Roman Kemp is co-hosting the BBC Platinum Party at Palace (Doug Peters/PA) (PA Wire)
Roman Kemp is co-hosting the BBC Platinum Party at Palace (Doug Peters/PA) (PA Wire)

Banjo, 33, will be performing with his dance troupe Diversity during the concert, teasing that in honour of the historic occasion they will be doing “something special” and “different” which reflects across history while also looking to the future.

He also told PA that to describe the Queen as an “icon” is an understatement, adding: “She’s just an extremely special person, such a unique human for the country and the world.”

Broadcasters Roman Kemp and Kirsty Young will lead the BBC’s live coverage of the event, which is being broadcast on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and BBC Radio 2.

Reflecting on the Queen’s reign, Kemp, 29, told PA: “People don’t understand the actual service that gets put in sometimes, I think.

“Over that amount of time, the things that she’s done for the country, in terms of bringing awareness to certain causes, bringing awareness to things that need to be shouted about and being able to back it up, whether it be finances or press or whatever, it’s been amazing.”

The crowd arriving before the start of the Platinum Party at the Palace in front of Buckingham Palace (Jacob King/PA) (PA Wire)
The crowd arriving before the start of the Platinum Party at the Palace in front of Buckingham Palace (Jacob King/PA) (PA Wire)

He also noted the tourism that the monarch brings to the UK, adding: “She basically travels to countries all around the world showing who we are as Brits and that’s something that should never be snubbed and it should be celebrated.”

The Royal Ballet will also feature during the special concert, with ballet dancer Lauren Cuthbertson saying it is “the most incredible feeling” to have been selected to perform in honour of the Queen.

The concert, being held outside Buckingham Palace, also features performances from Duran Duran, Craig David, Alicia Keys and Sir Rod Stewart.

Other famous faces from the worlds of sport, stage and screen who are part of the event include Sir David Attenborough, tennis star Emma Raducanu, David Beckham, Stephen Fry and Dame Julie Andrews, with the evening also featuring a specially recorded performance from Sir Elton John.

The Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge will take to the stage to pay tribute to the Queen during the star-studded Jubilee concert.

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