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Star cast is named for royal party

The star-studded cast set to take to the stage for a literary-themed extravaganza in honour of the Queen’s 80th birthday has been announced.


Julie Walters, Jonathan Ross, Harry Hill, Martin Clunes, Ronnie Corbett, Kelly Osbourne and Patsy Kensit are all on the bill for the Children’s Party at the Palace.

They are among more than 30 stars of stage and screen appearing in The Queen’s Handbag, to be broadcast live from the gardens of Buckingham Palace in front of the Monarch’s 3,000 guests on June 25.

Oscar-nominated actress Walters plays a palace maid, presenter Ross plays Sir Topham Hat, while Hill plays Hogwarts Owl Keeper and actress Kensit plays The Grand High Witch.

Harry Potter fans will be catered for, with a specially-written scene including Harry, played by Daniel Radcliffe, Hermione (Emma Watson), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Neville (Matthew Lewis).

The actors will join some of Britain’s best-loved literary characters including Mary Poppins, Rupert the Bear, Winnie the Pooh, Paddington, The BFG, Postman Pat, Mrs Tiggywinkle, Noddy and the Gruffalo for the show.

A BBC spokeswoman said the exact storyline remains a closely guarded secret, but revealed: “The Queen has invited characters from the world of literature to the palace to help celebrate her birthday.

“But just as everyone starts to arrive Mary, the Queen’s maid, her butler Mr Tibbs and Sophie from The BFG realise the Queen’s handbag which contains her speech has gone. Sophie (played by herself – Sophie Dahl) had The BFG written for her by her grandfather.

The script was written by children’s author and playwright David Wood, with actor and author Julian Fellowes as executive script editor and Sir Trevor Nunn as stage director.

The audience of 2,000 children and 1,000 adults from across the UK were given tickets in a ballot for the show, the date for which coincides with one of Paddington Bear’s birthdays. He has two, as does the Queen.

Original article found at Yahoo! News I June 11, 2006

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