Belfast Telegraph

Celebrities meet the Queen at BBC

Sir Bruce Forsyth, Tess Daly, Danny O'Donoghue and David Dimbleby were among the stars who met the Queen as she declared the BBC's revamped state-of-the-art Broadcasting House officially open.

The Queen - without the Duke of Edinburgh, who was undergoing an exploratory operation - toured the major new extension to the broadcaster's London headquarters.

In a short address broadcast live by the BBC and around the globe via the World Service, she referred to a previous visit to Broadcasting House with her husband shortly before her coronation 60 years ago. She said: "I was struck then, as I am now, by the sheer pace of change which has transformed your industry over the past 60 years, years during which broadcasting has enriched our lives in so many ways."

During her visit the monarch was treated to a performance by The Script and Indiana, a BBC Introducing artist, in the "Live Lounge". She sat and listened intently as they played the David Bowie song Heroes.

At the end she chatted briefly to lead singer Danny O'Donoghue and when she learnt he was playing the Glastonbury festival, joked about the mud. She said: "Glastonbury, the place you get covered in mud?" The singer laughed: "You've got to bring good wellies."

Afterwards, Danny described the experience as "bizarre" and "pretty intimidating".

Bandmate Mark Sheehan said when they were told about the royal engagement he thought it was a joke. "Still today, coming in today, I thought people were playing a joke on us," he said.

The Queen also met veteran presenter and Strictly Come Dancing host Sir Bruce Forsyth. Sir Bruce said: "It's a great day for the BBC. It's about time the BBC had a great day." He added that the Queen was "so gracious" and said: "To do what she does day after day, meeting people, she does a great job. You have to see her in action."

The Queen also met Sir Bruce's Strictly co-host Tess Daly, presenter Claudia Winkleman, and actress Jenny Agutter. Walking past a Dalek, she went on to meet Doctor Who actress Jenna-Louise Coleman near to the Tardis.

Chairman of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten thanked the Queen for opening the new headquarters of "a great British national institution and one of the greatest broadcasters and news gatherers in the world". The building cost just over a billion pounds and took a decade to complete.

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