An evening of family friendly entertainment

There used to be a number of variety shows on television.

Usually hosted by a popular mainstream performer these shows included singers, dancers, comedians and speciality acts.

One of the most popular was Sunday Night at the London Palladium. Simon Cowell tried hard to reintroduce variety to television with Britain’s Got Talent, but the winners tended to be singers and dancers rather than speciality acts like magicians and ventriloquists.

However the winner of the most recent series was Attraction whose act was totally unique and very moving.

Part of their prize was an appearance on this year’s Royal Variety Performance which will be screened on Monday night from half past seven - a week after it happened.

This year’s show included the following stars from the world of music - Gary Barlow, Jessie J, Olly Murs, Caro Emerald, Mary J. Blige, Chas and Dave, John Newman, Bryn Terfel, Rizzle Kicks and Gareth Malone’s new choir -Voices.

From the world of comedy there was Dame Edna Everage, Jimmy Carr, Jason Byrne, Hal Cruttenden and Sean Walsh. There were sequences from several stage shows - Dance ‘Til Dawn (about Hollywood’s Golden Age); Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (based on the famous Roald Dahl’s story); Stephen Ward (a new show by Andrew Lloyd Webber about the Profumo affair) and I Can’t Sing (Harry Hill’s forthcoming musical based on the X Factor).

Torvill and Dean also took part. Hosting this year’s show was comedian John Bishop. But how many of these stars will make it to the TV version remains to be seen. Hopefully though there will be something for everyone in the mix. It is just a shame that there could not be variety shows on TV throughout the year, covering the whole spectrum of family friendly entertainment. IAN K