Alan Carr has said his “proud” dad was crying in the audience as he hosted the Royal Variety Performance for the first time.
The comedian said it was a “dream come true” to present the 94th annual performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London last month, as well as greeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after the show.
The 45-year-old said: “I mean, at first I couldn’t believe it, then shock and then completely nervous – it’s a dream come true.
“I just love the show, and it’s absolutely mad because of who you are rubbing shoulders with, and then, of course, the royals will be there and that adds another level of nervousness.
“My dad was crying because he was so proud, which is so sweet. My mum had never, ever been to the Royal Albert Hall.
“My mum and dad are mentioned in my monologue but had I told her I would be slagging off her Christmas dinner she wouldn’t have turned up.
“She did look very glam and I felt very proud of my mum, and my dad had a dickie bow on which was very odd to see.
“I had the pressure of doing the Royal Variety, having the royals watching me and my mum and dad, so yes, I deserved that glass of champagne when I came off stage. It was definitely a night to remember.”
Carr said he “loved” the show when he was growing up and when he was first asked to perform in the show in 2005 he had not even been on television.
He said: “Just thinking back to 2005, just sitting in the canteen in Cardiff with Shirley Bassey, the Blue Man Group, Cliff Richard, it just felt all very odd, and now I’m the one hosting and that’s the wonderful thing about showbiz – these kinds of things happen.”
A cast of famous faces entertained on the evening, including music by Ed Sheeran, Rod Stewart, Years & Years, Gregory Porter and Anne-Marie.
During the show, Carr dressed up in a muscle suit and joined former America’s Got Talent contestants the Messoudi Brothers on stage.
Carr said: “The great thing being there is you see how all the rehearsals go and how hard everybody works.
“There was a real camaraderie and a real buzz because everyone had a good one. Normally you get someone who feels it hasn’t gone well or they forget something, but everyone had a good one.
“I don’t know if it is just that awful lockdown but people are just so up for it.
“I feel there is this collective feeling that we’ve all been through something very unique, something grim, and when I came out on stage at the Royal Albert Hall I just thought this is something special, there is a buzz in the air, this is going to be good.
“It felt very modern and up to date and there was something for everyone and they got it just right.”
The cast of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Matilda The Musical, who are celebrating 10 years in the West End, performed at the charity event, as did the cast of Moulin Rouge The Musical.
Cirque du Soleil selected a performance from their latest show Luzia, and there was comedy by Judi Love, Bill Bailey and Josh Widdicombe.
The event is staged in aid of the Royal Variety Charity, whose patron is the Queen, and the money raised helps people from the world of entertainment in need of care and assistance.
The Royal Variety Performance will air at 7.20pm on December 19 on ITV and the ITV Hub.