Paddington star to host King's coronation concert

A fitting host! Paddington star Hugh Bonneville announced as the presenter of King Charles’s coronation concert

  • The actor, 59, will lead the gig to be held at Windsor Castle on Sunday 7 May
  • READ MORE: Prince Harry ‘will skip star-studded concert for King Charles’s coronation’

Paddington actor Hugh Bonneville has said he is ‘delighted’ to be the host of the King’s Coronation Concert.

The BBC has announced his role hosting the gig at Windsor Castle on 7 May, the day after the coronation of King Charles at Westminster Abbey.

The actor, 59, who starred in the Paddington films, will introduce acts onstage including Take That, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry.

Bonneville’s involvement in the concert may be considered a touching tribute to the late Queen, who became associated with the character of Paddington Bear in the months before she died.

As part of the celebrations for the Platinum Jubilee, the late monarch filmed a skit with a CGI version of the character as the pair shared marmalade sandwiches.

Paddington actor Hugh Bonneville (pictured) has been announced as the host of the coronation concert to be held at Windsor Castle on 7 May

Speaking about his involvement, Bonneville said: ‘I’m delighted to be taking part in this unique event, celebrating the best of musical entertainment in honour of His Majesty’s coronation.

‘In true British style, come rain or shine it will be a night to remember.’

Today the BBC announced the actor as the host of the concert as it unveiled more performers from the Royal Ballet, the Royal Opera, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal College of Music and the Royal College of Art.

The royal patronages will come together for the first time to create a one-off performance featuring Sex Education and Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa and Olivier Award nominee Mei Mac.

King Charles and Queen Camilla will throw the concert the day after they are crowned in a coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey

The late Queen Elizabeth became associated with Paddington Bear after she appeared in a skit with the character to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee

Based around themes of love and togetherness, the piece will combine music, dance, art and theatre in what will be the ultimate royal collaboration, the BBC said.

An arrangement of a classic song from West Side Story will be performed, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, performed by members of the Royal Opera Chorus.

Royal Ballet principal dancers Francesca Hayward and Marcelino Sambe will perform a bespoke piece of choreography for the occasion.

The visual backdrop projected on to Windsor Castle and the stage will showcase artworks by students from the Royal College of Art.

A string quartet of four Royal College of Music students will perform as soloists – Katherine Yoon and Betania Johnny on violin, Declan Wicks on viola and Marion Portelance, who will be playing a cello once owned and played by the King and now in the collection of The Royal College of Music.

The BBC said Bonneville will set the scene for the evening’s entertainment and introduce each artist as they take to the stage.

Take That, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie are among the musical stars who will perform.

The line-up will also include Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel, singer-songwriter Freya Ridings and classical-soul composer Alexis Ffrench.

The event on May 7 in the grounds of Windsor Castle will be watched by a crowd of 20,000 members of the public and broadcast across BBC television and radio stations.

Earlier this week it was reported that Sarah Ferguson, who was snubbed from the guest list at Westminster Abbey for the coronation ceremony, would be a ‘VIP attendee’ at the concert the following day.

A royal insider told The Sun that Fergie ‘never would have expected’ to be invited to the coronation.

They said: ‘But she is delighted to be joining the wider family for the Coronation Concert.

‘She cherishes those more relaxed times with the family and, contrary to some reports, is fully accepting of the situation.’

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