Monday's glittering Royal Variety Performance in Liverpool brought together an eclectic array of colourful British talent and top international stars.

The gala, which took place in the presence of the Queen, saw Kiss From A Rose singer Seal appearing alongside risqué comic Russell Brand, whose routine was peppered with references to his reputation as a ladies man, and New Zealand opera legend Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

Other unusual pairings included former Royal Ballet principal Darcey Bussell rubbing shoulders with chart-topping Latin heart-throb Enrique Iglesias.

It was for rocker Jon Bon Jovi the real adulation was reserved, though. The hunky singer was greeted by screams of excitement as he took to the stage at the Empire theatre to belt out two of his hits.

Big-haired comedian Russell also brought the house down. Clearly mindful of his royal audience he jokingly confessed to assessing his romantic chances with the Queen's eldest granddaughter. "I've been thinking about Zara an awful lot – I was wondering if she was single," said Russell. "There'd be a courtship of course - and then probably a court martial," he quipped.

Other high points included Britain's Got Talent winner Paul Potts thrilling the audience with his version of Puccini's Nessun Dorma. Grammy-winning Seal, meanwhile, gave a unique rendition of Beatles hit Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, a performance accompanied by trapeze artists, stilt walkers and back-flipping acrobats.

Photo: ©
The presence of the Queen at Liverpool's Empire Theatre didn't deter Russell from trying out his usual saucy material. After his routine the big-haired comedian joined fellow performer James Blunt in being presented to the monarchPhoto: © PAClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
British singer Seal also featured at the Royal Variety show along with Kiwi opera star Kiri Te KanawaPhoto: © Rex
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