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One Direction and Girls Aloud join stellar cast for Royal Variety Performance

One Direction and Girls Aloud have become the latest stellar additions to the already eye popping line up at the 100th anniversary of the Royal Variety Performance.

Spanning both musical styles and generations, the Royal Variety Performance is that wonderfully British phenomenon where vintage showbiz razzmatazz meets the cutting edge of pop culture. As elements of old school music hall share a stage with Generation X Factor, this year’s gala event promises not only to sound the centenary in style and celebrate the event’s glittering history, but to showcase some of 2012’s biggest names.

Compered and hosted by the inimitable David Walliams of Little Britain fame and Britain’s Got Talent judge (which itself has its cultural roots in variety performances), the show’s roll call of stars is picking up momentum as we hurtle towards the curtain call. Classic crooners like Neil Diamond and evergreen lothario Rod Stewart will be appearing alongside comedians Bill Bailey and Rhod Gilbert, tenors Andrea Bocelli and Placido Domingo and the all singing, all dancing casts of West End musicals Matilda and The Bodyguard. The mesmerising Alicia Keys will be providing her own blend of sultry soul while pop royalty Kylie Minogue and Robbie Williams strut the stage in majestic fashion.

But no musical event with the inclusive range of the Royal Variety Performance would be complete without a hefty nod to the Cowellisation of pop culture. Love him or hate him, sneer at TV talent shows or embrace them with tears and laughter, there is no doubt that shows like the X Factor and the talent they have spawned have changed the musical landscape. Girls Aloud who rocketed to fame after winning Popstars – The Rivals, went on to spin a catalogue of insanely catchy hits before splitting and reforming in time-honoured style. One Direction – who are currently the hottest thing since a film executive dreamt up vampires riddled with teen angst are currently leaving a trail of screaming fans in their slightly sanitised wake. No doubt they will amongst the hottest acts on the bill and follow the RVP tradition of keeping the next generation engaged and the gala current.

With both the Queen and the Royal Family’s comedian in chief, the Duke of Edinburgh both in attendance, the 19 November promises to be yet another sparkling moment in a century of Royal Variety Performances. Proceeds will of course be going once again to the Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund.

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