Celebrating The Royal Albert Hall



Charles Hazlewood introduces this series on an iconic building - what he calls a "great red blob" - the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington Gore.

He introduces a montage of some of the extraordinary performers who've graced the stage of this huge venue since it opened 140 years ago, in 1871, in memoriam to the love of Queen Victoria's life.

Artists like the Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Edward Elgar, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Billy Connolly, Sir Paul McCartney, Michael Ball and Mario Lanza.

Charles also introduces some of his own favourites from the Hall, including a Shostakovich Symphony and some Siouxsie and the Banshees.

The history of the building is explored in the company of V&A design curator Abraham Thomas, historian Helen Rappaport and Jools Holland.

There are also contributions from the Hall's chief executive Chris Cotton and Proms director Roger Wright.

Charles discusses some of the many spectaculars at the Hall and chronicles how various charitable organisations have found a home there for galas, including the Prince's Trust, Amnesty International and Music for Youth.

Then there's choral music, the circus, fashion competitions, the Chelsea Arts Ball and some amazing music - from classical to jazz, choral to punk and heavy rock.

Oh, and there's a bit of Sumo wrestling thrown in for good measure.

The story of how the Royal Albert Hall has entertained the world for 140 years.


The story of how the Royal Albert Hall has entertained the world for 140 years.