Royal Variety Performance 2020 pays tribute to celebrities who died this year

The Royal Variety Performance paid a moving tribute to some of the celebrities who have died this year – including Des O’Connor, Bobby Ball and Dame Vera Lynn.

For the first time ever, the event took place without a live audience. Instead, host Jason Manford treated a virtual audience to a series of star-studded performances.

The show was also held at Blackpool Opera House for the first time in more than a decade.

Viewers were treated to performances by magician Stephen Mulhern, Gary Barlow and Captain Tom Moore.

However, mid-way through the programme, comedian Jason stopped the show to remember some of the much-loved comedians, actors and performers who we tragically lost this year.

As they played a series of clips, the names of the stars who had died appeared on the screen.

Among the celebs were Tim Brooke-Taylor MBE, Michael Londsdale, Roy Hudd OBE, Honor Blackman and Jill Gascoine.

Other names remembered were Bobby Ball, Geoffrey Palmer OBE, Pearl Carr, Paula Tilbrook, John Sessions, Des O’Connor, Eddie Large and Derek Fowlds.

As well as Terry Jones, Malcolm Maxted, Kenny Lynch, Nicholas Parsons CBE Dame Diana Rigg and not forgetting Sir Sean Connery.

Taking to Twitter to praise the show for such a moving tribute, one viewer commented: ‘Oh my gosh, this years remembrance video is heartbreaking. So much talent has left us.’

Another said: ‘Blimey we really did lose some talent this last year! Rest in Peace.’

One added: ‘Lotta big names died in 2020.’

Viewers were also left sobbing by the end of the programme after Captain Tom Moore and Michael Ball performed a duet with the NHS Choir.

The pair sang a moving rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone, which became a number one hit earlier this year.

The Royal Variety Performance is available on the ITV Hub.

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