ITV - Sunday
An extraordinary line-up of stars – including Adjoa Andoh, Lord Lloyd-Webber, Ant and Dec, Dame Joan Collins, Sir Mo Farah, Dame Maureen Lipman, Sir David Jason, Dame Kelly Holmes, Moira Stuart, Sir Trevor McDonald, Tom Cruise and Alan Titchmarsh – comes together for this live event from Windsor Castle.
And, although the media have been having fun reporting on a bill that includes both the Top Gun star and the Ground Force favourite, in truth, Alan Titchmarsh has found it all quite amusing.
‘Well, it’s raised some eyebrows and given rise to a few comments, but it’s also raised the profile of the event,’ chortles the 73-year-
old who, at 5ft 8½in, is around an inch taller than Cruise. ‘At least I was described as a “gardening A-lister”. That will do me!’
Guiding us through the evening will be Phillip Schofield and Julie Etchingham. ‘There’ll be something for everybody,’ says Phillip, 60. ‘The fact the Queen acceded the throne when she was only 25 years old really is astonishing. It’s a joy to be involved.’
‘Phil and I have done two Royal Weddings and the Diamond Jubilee together,’ adds Julie, 52. ‘We had a little text exchange when we found out we were doing this, along the lines of, “This time with horses, dahling.” He brings the showbiz sparkle, and lets me into his world for a while.
‘But I certainly can’t recall an event like it. It’s true to the great tradition of the Royal Windsor Horse Show – but this time with the extra, historic sparkle of a Platinum Jubilee celebration.’
As ITV royalty himself, it’s no surprise that this isn’t Phillip’s first brush with Her Majesty.
‘I’ve been lucky to meet her on a number of occasions,’ he says. ‘I’m always struck by how readily she puts everyone at their ease. She’s quick-witted and well-informed, and she has great skin!’