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Tuesday, 4 June, 2002, 13:07 GMT 14:07 UK
Palace party draws 15m viewers
Buckingham Palace fireworks display
The audience peaked for the show's finale
Monday night's Party At The Palace concert attracted a peak of 15.1 million viewers for BBC One - over two-thirds of all those watching TV that night.

The figure was reached at 2300 BST, towards the Golden Jubilee pop concert's conclusion, which saw a spectacular fireworks display light up the London skyline.

Unofficial overnight figures estimate an average of 12.3 million people watched across the four-and-a-quarter hours of the live broadcast from Buckingham Palace.

Viewing figures
Average audience: 12.3m - 54.9% share
Peak rating: 15.1m, 2300 BST
peak share: 68%, 2315 BST
BBC One controller Lorraine Heggessey hailed a "fantastic" night which celebrated the jubilee in a "unique and special way".

"It is pleasing that BBC One was able to bring the concert to millions of people across the UK who couldn't be there on the night," she added.

National Grid estimated 250,000 kettles were switched on after the show ended.

A spokesman said: "We recorded a surge of 550 megawatts. We would get a smiliar reading after the end of a soap shown during the week.

Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy Osbourne: Thought invitation was a joke
"But last night's reading was very unusual as it was late in the evening and you would expect most people to be in bed."

Ozzy highlight

Former Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne - one of the more surprising acts on the bill - said the show was the highlight of his career.

Osbourne, who has found himself a new lease of life thanks to MTV's hit fly-on-the-wall show The Osbournes, said he thought it was a joke when his wife and manager, Sharon, told him he had been invited to perform at the event.

"I hardly think of myself as royal material," he said.

"It seems strange to be on the strange with all these other people. I'm more surprised than anybody else that I'm here.

"My wife told me and I thought, 'You're pulling my leg.' Heavy metal at the Palace? I'm not sure whether the Queen is a fan, but obviously she must be."

Prince William
Prince William caught off-guard
Osbourne performed the Black Sabbath anthem Paraonid to the 12,000-strong crowd at the event.


Guitar hero Eric Clapton said it was an "honour" to play a tribute to his late friend George Harrison.

He recreated the guitar solo from the Beatles hit While My Guitar Gently Weeps accompanying Sir Paul McCartney.

The two men had fallen out when Harrison's wife Patti Boyd left him for Clapton, but they had made up a few years before Harrison's death in November 2001.

Sir Paul also appeared alongside his former Beach Boys rival Brian Wilson for the first time. The two men competed with each other during the late 1960s, with the Beatles' Revolver being a response to the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds.

Wilson teamed up with Sir Paul for All You Need Is Love and said: "This is the first time I have been on stage with Paul McCartney and believe me I'm nervous."

S Club farewell

Kinks frontman Ray Davies said: "It's something more than a normal concert - it's for the audience, for the atmosphere.

"I justify my involvement because I've always been an people's writer and this is for the people."

The Queen
The Queen arrived in time for Eric Clapton's Layla
The show also saw S Club 7 singer Paul Cattermole bow out of the pop group after four years.

The group will continue as S Club, while he will switch genres to work with rock band Skua.

He said: "I couldn't have asked for a better way to go out. When I realised I couldn't have planned it any better."

Other stars included Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Elton John, Tom Jones, Will Young and The Corrs.

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04 Jun 02 | Entertainment
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