Concert For Diana

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Concert for Diana
Location(s) Wembley Stadium, London, United Kingdom
Years active 2007
Founded by Prince William and Prince Harry
Date(s) 1 July 2007
Genre(s) Concert

Concert for Diana was a concert held at the new Wembley Stadium in London, United Kingdom in honour of the late Diana, Princess of Wales on 1 July 2007.

Ricky Gervais performed at the concert and was derided for his perceived desperation to please the crowd (see below).


1 July 2007 would have been her 46th birthday; and 2007 is also the 10th anniversary of death. The concert was hosted by Diana's sons, Prince William and Prince Harry who helped to organize for many of the world's most famous entertainers and singers to perform at the concert.

The concert was broadcast in 140 different countries across the world with an estimated potential audience of 500 million homes. In December 2006, 22,500 tickets were made available for purchase for the concert, selling out in just 17 minutes, while 63,000 people turned out to Wembley Stadium to watch the performances to commemorate Diana. At the end of the performances, a video montage of Diana as a child was presented, accompanied by the Queen song "These Are the Days of Our Lives".

The concert started at 16:00 BST and finished at approximately 22:15 BST - there were two short intermissions during the concert.

A 2-Disc DVD Set of the concert will be released on the 5 November 2007.

Ricky Gervais

As with many 'live' music events, the Concert for Diana was plagued by a number of technical problems, the most glaring of which occurred during comedian Ricky Gervais's stand up routine, before Elton John's musical finale. As a planned seven minute routine became ten minutes and finally fifteen, viewers saw a visibly flustered Gervais floundering as a stagehand held up signs saying 'two minutes', 'then 'one minute'. The stand-up comic looked somewhat bewildered as he rapidly ran out of material -he was not allowed to use material from his current stand up show Fame for legal reasons. He went on to deliver a rendition of a song that David Bowie performed on his show Extras before finally being told to 'link to the BBC'. Before handing back to an equally unprepared Claudia Winkleman and Jamie Theakston, Gervais remarked 'this is a shambles'. During the piece, by popular demand from the crowd, he performed his famous "dance" from The Office.

Following Gervais' critically panned appearance at the memorial concert, the Guardian ran a column by Daily Mirror television critic Jim Shelley entitled "Call Me Crazy... But Has Ricky Gervais Lost It?"[1]. The web-based version of the column attracted hundreds of comments, many of them substantially in agreement that Gervais had become a "tiresome embarrassment." Shelley also alledged that Gervais was booed off stage. Gervais later told British radio station Heart FM, "After the Diana concert there was one guy - who works for a tabloid - and he wrote that the crowd booed… they didn't boo, they loved it." "People love it when something goes wrong and I was standing there and they demanded I do 'the robot dance' and it was funny." A week after the concert, while introducing Marti Di Bergi and Spinal Tap at Live Earth Gervais joked, 'Now listen, we're running late, so I'm gonna be off this stage in 30 seconds, whether Elton John is fucking ready or not,' making him one of a number of people to swear on live TV at the event.

Shortly after Shelley's column, the Guardian noted that Gervais had responded with "an exhilaratingly foul-mouthed tirade" on his website, concluding with the words, "Yes I am resting on my laurels you cunt!", in this video Gervais mocked Jim Shelley typing the words "Resting on his laurels" as Ricky jokingly lashed out by stating he was resting on his laurels and that he was not going to make another show for television and saying "What's the point? What is there to beat?".[2]

The debacle came full circle in September when Stephen Merchant won Best Comedian at the GQ Awards, which was presented by Elton John. When he was announced the winner, Merchant continued to sit at his table and eat some cake. After making Elton John wait for a few minutes he eventually strolled up to the stage to collect the award. Merchant later said 'I thought I would keep Elton John waiting for a change as he did to my friend Ricky at the Diana concert.'[3]

Performers and speakers

Order of Performances

  1. Elton John - "Your Song"
  2. Duran Duran - "(Reach Up for the) Sunrise", "Wild Boys" and "Rio"
  3. James Morrison - "You Give Me Something" and "Wonderful World"
  4. Lily Allen - "LDN" and "Smile"
  5. Fergie - "Glamorous" and "Big Girls Don't Cry"
  6. The Feeling - "Fill My Little World" and "Love It When You Call"
  7. Pharrell Williams - "Drop It Like It's Hot" and "She Wants To Move (Remix)"
  8. Nelly Furtado - "Say It Right", "I'm Like a Bird" and "Maneater"
  9. English National Ballet - "Swan Lake" (Act IV)
  10. Status Quo - "Rockin' All Over The World"
  11. Joss Stone - "You Had Me" and "Under Pressure"
  12. Roger Hodgson - Supertramp Medley ("Dreamer", "The Logical Song" and "Breakfast in America") and "Give a Little Bit"
  13. Orson - "Happiness" and "No Tomorrow"
  14. Tom Jones & Joe Perry - "Kiss", "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" and "Ain't That A Lot of Love?" (with Joss Stone)
  15. Will Young - "Switch It On"
  16. Natasha Bedingfield - "Unwritten"
  17. Bryan Ferry - "Slave to Love", "Make You Feel My Love" and "Let's Stick Together (Extended)"
  18. Anastacia - "Superstar" from Jesus Christ Superstar (with orchestra and choir conducted by Andrew Lloyd Webber)
  19. Connie Fisher and Andrea Ross - "Memory" from Cats
  20. Andrea Bocelli - "The Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera
  21. Josh Groban and Sarah Brightman - "All I Ask of You" from The Phantom of the Opera
  22. Donny Osmond, Jason Donovan and Lee Mead featuring the Chicken Shed Theatre Company - "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
  23. Rod Stewart - "Maggie May", "Baby Jane" and "Sailing"
  24. Kanye West - "Gold Digger", " Touch the Sky", "Stronger", "Diamonds from Sierra Leone" and "Jesus Walks"
  25. P. Diddy - "I'll Be Missing You"
  26. Take That - "Shine", "Patience" and "Back for Good"
  27. Ricky Gervais - "Freelove Freeway" (featuring Mackenzie Crook), Extras tune "Chubby Little Loser"
  28. Elton John|Sir Elton John (second performance) - "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting", "Tiny Dancer" and "Are You Ready For Love?"

Order of speakers

  1. Prince William of Wales and Prince Harry of Wales
  2. Sienna Miller and Dennis Hopper
  3. Kiefer Sutherland
  4. Ryan Seacrest, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson
  5. Natasha Kaplinsky
  6. Dennis Hopper
  7. Fearne Cotton
  8. Gillian Anderson
  9. Boris Becker and John McEnroe
  10. Cat Deeley
  11. Patsy Kensit
  12. Jamie Oliver
  13. David Beckham
  14. Ben Stiller (pre-recorded message)
  15. Ricky Gervais
  16. Prince William of Wales and Prince Harry of Wales
  17. Nelson Mandela (pre-recorded message)
  18. Bill Clinton (pre-recorded message)
  19. Tony Blair (pre-recorded message)

Notable spectators

  • Prince William of Wales
  • Prince Harry of Wales
  • Princess Beatrice of York
  • Sarah, Duchess of York
  • Princess Eugenie of York
  • Members of the Spencer family
  • Kate Middleton
  • James Middleton, Kate's younger brother
  • Chelsy Davy
  • Kiefer Sutherland
  • Jason Donovan, who could be seen singing along to Take That's set.
  • P. Diddy
  • David Furnish

Prince Charles was not among the spectators. Together with Queen Elizabeth II, Gordon Brown, and Tony Blair he was among the spectators at the Lady Diana memorial service on August 31, 2007 in the chapel of the Queen's lifeguard.

External links