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Wednesday, 6 December, 2000, 05:58 GMT
Charles meets pop divas
Dame Shirley Bassey and Prince Charles
Shirley Bassey first met the prince 14 years ago
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.


I have been to a few of his parties and dinner at Highgrove

Dame Shirley Bassey
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 dinner at Highgrove," she said.

Minogue, who had wowed the audience with her number one single, Spinning Around, and her new release, Please Stay, said the prince had admired her gold and black coat dress.

Kylie meets the prince
Spinning around: Kylie Minogue meets the Prince
Comedian Ben Elton hosted the variety performance at London's Dominion Theatre on Tuesday which will be shown on BBC One on 17 December.

The show also featured Julian Clary, comic Dominic Holland and a youth choir based in Omagh, Northern Ireland.

The singers come from all parts of the community in the County Tyrone town, which was devastated by a bomb in August 1998, killing 29 people.

The 44-strong choir, formed as a gesture of solidarity after the attack, sang Let Us Love in Peace with Josie Walker, one of the stars of Andrew Lloyd Webber's and Ben Elton's musical The Beautiful Game.

Ben Elton with Sarah Young, 17, and Gemma Alexander, 17,
Ben Elton coaches members of the Omagh youth choir
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.

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See also:

05 Dec 00 | Northern Ireland
Royal showtime for Omagh choir
29 Nov 99 | Entertainment
Birmingham by Royal command
30 Nov 99 | Entertainment
Royal approval for variety show
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