A spectacular cast including Julie Walters, Jonathan Ross, Harry Hill, Martin Clunes, Ronnie Corbett, Bradley Walsh and Patsy Kensit has been assembled for Children’s Party at the Palace, an extraordinary celebration of British children’s literature which is being held in honour of Her Majesty the Queen’s 80th Birthday.
Over 30 stars of stage and screen will join some of Britain’s best-loved literary characters including Mary Poppins, Rupert the Bear, Winnie the Pooh, Paddington, The BFG, Postman Pat, Mrs Tiggywinkle, Noddy and the Gruffalo for this unique extravaganza which is being produced by the BBC.
The live show entitled The Queen’s Handbag will be played in the gardens of Buckingham Palace on a huge stage in front of the Queen’s 3,000 guests on BBC ONE and The CBBC Channel on 25 June and has been written by celebrated children’s author and playwright David Wood OBE with Julian Fellowes as Executive Script Editor and Sir Trevor Nunn as stage director.
The exact storyline remains a closely guarded secret, but revolves around a timeless baddies verses goodies plot in which the Queen invites characters from the world of literature to the palace to help celebrate her birthday. But, just as everyone starts to arrive Mary, the Queen’s maid, her butler Mr Tibbs and Sophie from The BFG realise the Queen’s handbag which contains her speech has gone.
Sophie (played by herself Sophie Dahl) had The BFG written for her by her grandfather. In the book Sophie went to live with the Queen and the story joins her as an adult still living with the Queen helping to send out invites to the party.
They desperately try and find the handbag with the help of some other characters including PC Plod, Robin Hood and Peter Pan but some of the characters are out to cause mischief. The baddies – including Burglar Bill, the Grand High Witch, and Captain Hook – try and sabotage the party by stopping guests from arriving.
Will the Queen find her speech in time for the party or will the baddies ruin it for everyone…
The Children’s Party at the Palace will be broadcast on BBC ONE and The CBBC Channel on Sunday 25 June from 6.15 to 7.30pm (until 7.00pm on CBBC).