5th December, 2000
Dominion Theatre, London
THE ROYAL VARIETY PERFORMANCE
Held in the presence of
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS
THE PRINCE OF WALES
HEY PACHUCO – MARTIN CREWES & THE RVP DANCERS
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
THE KING & I
NOTRE DAME DE PARIS
DAME SHIRLEY BASSEY
RICHARD STILGOE & PETER SKELLERN
STAR FOR A NIGHT – CLESTINE WALCOTT-GORDON
THE BEAUTIFUL GAME
Shirley Bassey at the Royal Variety Performance
At the Dominion Theatre, London, Dec 5 2000
Dame Shirley Bassey joined a host of celebrities at the Royal Variety Performance 2000. The show was performed in the presence of Prince Charles and other personalities. No stranger to the event, Shirley Bassey has won ovations at this celebrated royal event for forty years.
Dame Shirley was introduced by British comedian Ronnie Corbett “Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce to you, a dear friend, recently honoured by the Queen, and now making her first appearance since, the fabulously exciting, tingling making, Shirley Bassey!…”
Shirley opened with Light My Fire with 6 male backing dancers, she then sang As I Love You and ended with I Am What I Am. She was hailed as one of the evening’s major successes, confirming her status as the greatest pop diva of the last century, and this one so far!
The voice, the figure and, as far as I could see, the face have resisted the march of time. The applause that followed her three-song spot, climaxing with a breathtaking performance of I Am What I Am, must have been heard halfway up Tottenham Court Road!
In the event programme there was an advertisement from ‘Frontier Batley,’ formerly known as the famous ‘Batley Variety Club,’ wishing everyone well and going on to say “… particularly all the stars who have appeared here over the past 30 years and of course congratulations Dame Shirley Bassey The Undisputed Goddess Of Entertainment”.
The performance was transmitted on BBC1 on Sunday 17 December 2000, although sadly this was shortened and Shirley’s rendition of As I Love You was cut from the final transmission.
From BBC News, Wed 6 Dec 2000
Pop diva Dame Shirley Bassey had a kiss for Prince Charles as he met the singer after this year’s Royal Variety Performance.
The prince also met fellow singer Kylie Minogue after the show, which featured a line up including boy band Westlife, singers Ronan Keating and Lionel Ritchie and comedians Martin Clunes and Rowan Atkinson.
Dame Shirley, dressed in a black sequined halter-neck dress, kissed the prince on both cheeks and told him she was sorry she did not have a flower to give him.
She said she first got to know Prince Charles 14 years ago when she performed in a show for the Prince’s Trust. “He is a very genuine and gentle man. I have been to a few of his parties and dinners at Highgrove,” she said.
First held for George V in 1912, the Royal Variety Performance has become an entertainment institution, raising money for retired performers across the UK. The Prince was greeted as he arrived at the theatre by Laurie Mansfield, the life president of the Entertainment Artistes Benevolent Fund, and also met with BBC director general Greg Dyke and Alan Yentob, the corporation’s director of drama, entertainment and children’s programming.
Smiling Through The Tears
From The Daily Telegraph, Dec 20 2000
Dame Shirley Bassey smiled her way through Sunday’s Royal Variety Performance, but in fact things were far from well. “She was very upset that her dress didn’t look like anything special,” says her dressmaker, Doug Darnell.
“Her gown should have made her look like a sphere of light, but, because of the way the BBC shot it, it didn’t. They then missed out one of her songs. In America, this would never have happened.” A BBC spokesman said: ‘Dame Shirley was the highlight of the show.
After the show:
Thanks to Bigspender for the following three pictures of Dame Shirley Bassey taken after the performance when she autographed programmes and tickets for fans. She explained that she was having a few problems signing them because of the recent operation on her hand.