The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration

Sunday: The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration - (ITV, 8pm)

By Claire Cartmill
Saturday, 14th May 2022, 5:00 pm
Julie Etchingham and Phillip Schofield
Julie Etchingham and Phillip Schofield

Get ready for a truly historic occasion – Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise and British TV gardening legend Alan Titchmarsh, together at last.

Oh, and it’s also The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration, one of the first big events marking Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised that such a historic occasion (no other British monarch has ever reached this milestone) has brought together such a starry and, let’s be honest, slightly random list of celebrity contributors, all ready to pay their own tributes to the Queen and take part in what is being described as a ‘theatrical arena event’.

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Broadcast live from the private grounds of Windsor Castle, ITV promises it will be a “a celebratory, star-studded show, complete with show-stopping performances and an epic journey through history, told by some of the most well-renowned and respected names in film and television.”

The logistics are certainly impressive, as it will include 1300 performers and 500 horses in a show made up of four acts, each overseen by a different event host –Cruise, Titchmarsh, Damian Lewis and Adjoa Andoh.

The event will take us through history, from the reign of Elizabeth I to the coronation of Elizabeth II.

Helen Mirren, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of our current monarch in The Queen, takes on the role of Elizabeth I, while Omid Djalili has been cast as The Herald, who will introduce the players and whisk viewers through time. The different acts will reflect on key moments that shaped our nation, but also highlight some of the absurdities.

The guests cropping up include (deep breath) Adjoa Andoh, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ant and Dec, Joan Collins, Mo Farah, Maureen Lipman, David Jason, Kelly Holmes, Moira Stuart and Trevor McDonald.

There will also be music a 75-piece orchestra comprised of Tri-Service personnel and augmented with members of The National Symphony Orchestra, with special performances from Keala Settle, Gregory Porter and Katherine Jenkins.

The Commonwealth and the rest of the world is represented too with military and equestrian displays from around the world including Azerbaijan, India, Oman, France, Norway, Switzerland and Trinidad & Tobago.

It may be the first televised celebration for the Jubilee, but it won’t be the last. The BBC has plenty of events lined up for the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, which begins on Thursday June 2, with, among other things, Trooping the Colour and the lighting of beacons.

There will also be A Service of Thanksgiving on Friday, followed by Party at the Palace on Saturday, which brings together some of Britain’s biggest entertainers for a special concert.

Then on Sunday, June 5, there’s the Platinum Pageant, presented by Kirsty Young, Clare Balding, AJ Odudu, Anita Rani, Sophie Morgan, and Anton Du Beke, which will bring together artistic performers, dancers, musicians, military personnel, key workers and volunteers who will unite to tell the story of The Queen’s 70-year reign.

That doesn’t sound totally dissimilar from tonight’s spectacular, but can it also boast a special appearance by Tom Cruise?