United Kingdom

Sheridan Smith transforms into Cilla Black as she leads stars performing at the Royal Variety

Sheridan Smith transformed into Cilla Black as she led a host of stars taking to the stage for the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool recently.

The actress and singer, 39, who played the Anyone Who Had A Heart hitmaker in the 2014 series, wore a stunning moss green dress with draped sleeves as she gave a sensational performance. 

The dress featured glittering green gems and a cinched in waist, and was paired with green satin shoes.

Beautiful: Sheridan Smith transformed into Cilla Black as she led stars performing at the Royal Variety

Sheridan, who welcomed a son earlier this year, donned a flame-red wig and a rich palette of make-up to complete her transformation.

Jason Manford hosted this year's show as it returned to Blackpool at the historic Opera House in the Winter Gardens Complex - but hosted a virtual ceremony amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gary Barlow, Samantha Barks and Mel C were among other performers to take to the stage for the charity event.  

Green dress: Sheridan wore a beautiful moss green dress with draped sleeves in her performance

Sporty Spice, 46, flashed her taut midriff in a black crop-top paired with a striking scarlet trouser suit as she took to the stage.  

The star wowed in a structured blazer with black silk panels and a matching sash, worn with striking flared trousers.

She boosted her height with silver heels and wore her caramel tresses in sleek waves.    

The annual event took place virtually this year, with the audience tuning in via video screens. 

Return to the North: Jason Manford hosted this year's Royal Variety Performance as it returned to Blackpool for the first time since 2009, after taking place in London since 2011

It returned to the North after nine years, with the show taking place in London every year since 2011. 

Prince Charles delivered a special message to the charity and artists performing, as he looked forward to an evening of entertainment. 

Captain Sir Thomas Moore, who captured the nation's hearts after raising more than £32million for NHS Charities Together, also joined Michael Ball for an exclusive performance.

Virtual: The annual performance took place virtually this year, with the audience at the Blackpool Opera House tuning in via video screens

Star-studded: Spice Girls' Melanie C also gave a performance at the star-studded event

Performer: Melanice C wore a red suit with a black crop top as she performed on chairs with back-up dancers

Let It Go! There was also a spectacular performance from Samantha Barks who plays Elsa in Frozen The Musical

The military hero joined forces from his home while the legendary singer on stage with the NHS choir and performed the chart-topping version of You'll Never Walk Alone. 

There was also a solo performance from Take That star Gary, while the show saw the return of some musical theatre. 

Les Miserables actress Samantha Barks transformed into Elsa as she performed in Frozen The Musical, which is coming to the West End next April. 

Special performance: There was also a solo performance from Gary Barlow

Coming next year: Samantha is playing Elsa in Frozen The Musical, which is coming to the West End in April next year

Festive: Singer Celeste gave a stunning performance in front of a festive backdrop with silhouettes of trees and fairy lights 

Yellow and blue: The Stop This Flame hitmaker and Brit Award Rising Star winner sported a blue and yellow number for her performance

You'll Never Walk Alone: Michael Ball was joined by the NHS choir on stage and Sir Thomas Moore from his home for a special performance of You'll Never Walk Alone

Special: Captain Sir Thomas Moore, who raised more than £32million for NHS Charities Together, joined forces from his home with Michael Ball and the NHS choir

Jaw-dropping: Kenyan acrobats The Black Blues brother gave a high octane and jaw-dropping performance

The show, which last took place in Blackpool in 2009, also featured magic from TV presenter Stephen Mulhern, a phenomenal performance from West End sensation Marisha Wallace as well as a high octane and jaw-dropping performance from Kenyan acrobats The Black Blues Brother. 

Singer Celeste, who won the Brit Award for Rising Star, dressed in blue and yellow as she gave a stunning performance in front of a festive backdrop with silhouettes of trees and fairy lights.  

Wearing red, white and grey, pop group Steps also returned to give a performance. 

Magic! TV presenter Stephen Mulhern performed magic tricks with cards as part of his performance

Red, white and grey: Wearing red, white and grey, pop group Steps also returned to give a performance

Stand-up: Comedian Jo Caulfield gave a performance at the historic Blackpool Opera House in the Winter Gardens Complex 

Marisha wore a stunning yellow ballgown with draped sleeves reaching the floor.  

Musical comedian and Britain's Got Talent 2020 winner Jon Courtenay also took to the stage with a specially composed and heart-warming performance. 

Stand-up comedians Jo Caulfield and Daliso Chaponda also took to the stage as part of the performance.  

Comedy: Stand-up comedian Daliso Chaponda also performed at the Royal Variety Performance

Winner: Musical comedian and Britain's Got Talent winner Jon Courtenay took to the piano to give a specially composed and heart-warming performance

Stunning! West End sensation Marisha Wallace wore an incredible yellow ballgown as she gave a phenomenal performance 

Yellow ballgown: Marisha, who joined the original London cast of Waitress as Becky in 2019, gave a stunning performance 

Exclusive: Sir Thomas Moore tuned in from home to give an exclusive performance with Michael Ball of their chart-topping version of You'll Never Walk Again

Backstage, some of the stars were pictured wearing branded Royal Variety Charity face coverings to keep safe and follow government guidelines amid the ongoing pandemic.  

Jason Manford said: 'After appearing at the Royal Variety Performance three times since 2009, it is an honour and a privilege to be hosting the show this year. 

'It’s been a hugely difficult year for everybody, so I hope that for a couple of hours on a cold Winter’s night in Blackpool, we can take people’s minds off things and do what us Brits do best; have a laugh.'

The event is staged in aid of the Royal Variety Charity, whose patron is Her Majesty The Queen. 

The money raised from the show helps those people from the world of entertainment in need of care and assistance. 

The Royal Variety Performance will be screened on ITV on December 8. 

Sequins: Britain's Got Talent winner Jon Courtenay donned a branded Royal Variety Charity face covering backstage 

Red-haired wig: Sheridan looked stunning as she wore a red-haired wig with the glitzy green dress

'Let's have a laugh': Jason said that he hopes the performance can 'take people's minds of things' and 'do what us Brits do best; have a laugh'

Charity: The event is staged in aid of the Royal Variety Charity, whose patron is Her Majesty The Queen, with money raised helping people from the world of entertainment in need of care

Screening: The Royal Variety Performance, which featured a performance from the former Take That singer, will be screened on December 8

Football news:

Real Madrid spent 395 million euros in the last three summer transfer windows. Only Courtois and Mendy secured the start
Yaya Toure: Klopp is a genius! He brought a huge number of players to the peak. Only the best can do it
Fred on the Liverpool game: This is the biggest match in England. Manchester United will play to win, so will they. It will be Interesting
Lewandowski is the first player in the history of the Bundesliga with 21 goals in the first part of the season
Klopp on refusing to lead Manchester United: In Liverpool, even the weather is better than in Manchester! I'm in my place
Ramos will not move to PSG after his contract with Real Madrid expires. Between the clubs - a gentleman's agreement
Sergi Busquets: Messi is the best in the world. With him, Barca's chances of winning the Super Cup are higher