DSB at the 1961 Royal Variety Performance


Dame-Shirley-BasseyToday we bring you the performance of Dame Shirley Bassey’s very first Royal Variety Performance in 1961. In 2014 at her 9th. Royal Variety Performance Dame Shirley Bassey said: “My very first performance on The Royal Variety Performance was in 1961 and with each show it just gets better and better. I’m excited and honoured to be a part of this year’s show and to share the stage with such great talent.”

Special thanks to Terry for the video and to Jill for the photo from 1961.

Also we have a video of a programme from 2006 called ‘The Very Best of the Royal Variety Performances.

1961 AL NMEBassey6thoct

1961 AS NMEBassey10thNov


The Royal Variety Performance is a gala evening held annually in the United Kingdom, which is attended by senior members of the British Royal Family, normally the reigning monarch. The performance showcases a variety of family entertainment, including comedy, singing, dance, circus and other speciality acts, with many of the performers being popular celebrities. The event is organised on behalf of the Entertainment Artistes Benevolent Fund, to which all proceeds are donated.

The performance is televised to the public and is considered by many to be a tradition of the Christmas season, being held late in November, or early in December. The responsibility of producing and broadcasting the performance is shared alternately between the BBC and ITV and it is becoming a tradition for the BBC to stage the performance in London’s West End and for ITV to stage it in regional theatres outside of London.

Dame Shirley Bassey performed at nine Royal Variety Performances. In the years: 1961, 1965, 1971, 1976, 1987, 1994, 2000, 2005 and the year 2014. The Royal Variety Performances show Dame Shirley Bassey at her very best. Dame Shirley would have performed also on the Royal Variety Performance from 1997 but she refused because she had to sing to a backing tape instead of a full orchestra.
rvp-krantenartikelDame Shirley Bassey’s 1994 Performance was the show’s first standing ovation in twenty years.

Dame Shirley Bassey in her dressing room waiting to go on stage before a Royal Variety Performance
Dame Shirley Bassey in her dressing room waiting to go on stage before a Royal Variety Performance

5 thoughts on “DSB at the 1961 Royal Variety Performance”

  1. I really enjoyed this archive greatly. What a great honor for such a young DSB to have been invited to perform. DSB looked beautiful and carried herself with such grace and style at this event. She tickles me the way she sort of skips across the stage when her name is called…what a trooper, what a star. She was right not to have performed in 1997 to the recorded tracks. A woman of courage, conviction and determination. Thank you Terry, Jill and of course, Thank you so much Pieter.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. What a beautiful blog! Thanks for this compleet information!!
    I hope that Dame Shirley may perform again on the next ROYAL VARIETY PERFORMANCE that must be a 👑 on her career !!!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Great archive Pieter! Maybe someone someday will come up with the missing 1965 performance to make the complete set – that would be something – Terry.

    Liked by 5 people

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