Surprise performers at Proms Last Night

Celebrity artists recreate Gerard Hoffnung’s mayhem

Eight celebrities who have contributed to this year’s Proms season are taking to the Albert Hall stage with three vacuum cleaners, a floor polisher and four rifles for the second half of this year’s Last Night. Wildlife icon Sir David Attenborough, comedian Rory Bremner and journalist Martha Kearney will join musical luminaries including conductor Jiři Bělohlávek, drum and bass DJ Goldie, pianist Stephen Hough, bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku and violinist Jennifer Pike.


Performing Malcolm Arnold’s Grand, Grand Overture with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under conductor David Robertson, the guest performers will help recreate eight minutes of musical hilarity, originally conceived for humorist Gerard Hoffnung back in 1956 at the Royal Festival Hall. Accompanying full orchestra and organ, the line-up will be: Attenborough (floor polisher), Goldie, Bělohlávek, Pike (vacuum cleaners), Bremner, Kearney, Nwanoku and Hough (rifles).

This year’s Last Night will also feature performances by mezzo Sarah Connolly and trumpeter Alison Balsom as they celebrate works by Radio 3’s Composers of the Year: Handel, Purcell and Haydn. It is being broadcast on Saturday 12 September on Radio 3 at 7.30pm, with the first half shown on BBC Two and the second half on BBC One.