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Tuesday, 3 December, 2002, 07:45 GMT
Stars put on royal show
Anastacia, Kylie Minogue and Prince Charles
Prince Charles met the stars backstage
Some of the biggest names in pop, including Will Young, Kylie Minogue and Gareth Gates, entertained the Prince of Wales at the annual Royal Variety Performance on Monday.

They were joined by comedians old and new plus cabaret acts and musical casts at the Hammersmith Apollo in London.

Will Young and Bob Monkhouse
Will Young met veteran comic Bob Monkhouse
The prince shook off convention by sitting in the front row of the stalls, rather than in a royal box.

When he met the stars backstage, he told Kylie that they "must stop meeting like this" after a similar encounter after a play last week.

The Royal Variety Performance will be screened on BBC One on 15 December.

It has been going since 1912 and has always attracted some of the most famous names in showbiz.

Singers Anastacia, Diana Krall and Shania Twain were among the others performing to raise money for the Entertainment Artistes Benevolent Fund.

I think he genuinely enjoyed the show - who wouldn't?

Kylie Minogue
Veteran performers Bob Monkhouse and Elaine Stritch represented an older generation.

After the performance, Charles was given the traditional introductions to the stars.

It was the second time in as many weeks that he had met Kylie after watching her perform a guest slot in a West End comedy.

"He said 'we must stop meeting like this' - it was exactly what I was going to say, but he beat me to it," the Australian singer said.

"I think he genuinely enjoyed the show - who wouldn't?"

Will Young said the show had been "wonderful" but added he was very nervous performing with such a dazzling line-up of stars.

High standard

"I had been psyching myself up all day," he said. "Besides the Jubilee concert it was probably the biggest line-up there has been."

"You're always aware of the company you are keeping and you realise that you have to be that standard."

In the official programme for the show, the prince said the show raised money for an important cause.

He wrote: "The Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund makes grants to many individuals who are experiencing financial hardship.

"Much of the funding for this work is raised through the Royal Variety Performance and I am, therefore, incredibly grateful to the performers, production staff and, most importantly, the audience for being here this evening."


Some of the stars from the biggest new musicals in the West End also showed off their talents during the night.

There were segments from Bollywood extravaganza Bombay Dreams and Madness-inspired Our House.

But it was not just mainstream acts that got their chance to shine.

Comedian Omid Djalili and surreal act Men in Coats, who were both a hit at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, performed.

The team from radio and TV satire Dead Ringers, including Jon Culshaw and Jan Ravens, also took to the stage to run through some of their greatest impressions - although it is unclear whether those included the royal family.

See also:

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