Royal Variety Show books more men in drag than actual female comedians | Not a good track record...

Royal Variety Show books more men in drag than actual female comedians

Not a good track record...

The Royal Variety Performance has featured more male comedians in drag than genuine female stand-ups in the past 20 years.

Producers today announced the line-up of the 2016 bill, to be performed in front of the Prince Of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall next month – with comedy coming from Alan Davies, Joe Lycett,Rob Beckett and host David Walliams.

But he all-male line-up has raised some eyebrows, as comic and actress Sandy Foster pointed out:

However it is a familiar pattern. Today's news means that only two female stand-ups will have appeared in the 20 Royal Variety shows from 1997 to 2016 – Sarah Millican in 2010 and 2014 and Catherine Tate in 2005.

In the same time, three drag acts have been on the bill: Barry Humphries as Dame Edna in 2013; Peter Kay as talent show contestant Geraldine McQueen in 2008, and Paul O’Grady as Lily Savage in 1998.

Extending the range to 30 shows levels the playing field adding Joan Rivers in 1996 and Rita Rudner in 1992; but also drag act Hinge and Bracket in 1989.

A woman has not hosted the show since Cat Deeley in 2003.

The Royal Variety Charity, which organises the event, has not responded to a request for comment.

This year’s performance, which also features Sting, Robbie Williams, Emeli Sande, Sheridan Smith, Barry Gibb, One Republic, DNCE and Gary Barlow, will be aired on ITV after it is recorded at the Hammersmith Apollo on December 6.

Published: 3 Nov 2016

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