Live from Her Majesty's
Live from Her Majesty's was a Sunday night live variety show which was produced by London Weekend Television (LWT) for the ITV network and ran from 1982 to 1988. It was broadcast live from Her Majesty's Theatre in London and was very much in the tradition of earlier variety spectacles such as Sunday Night at the London Palladium.
The series was presented by Jimmy Tarbuck, produced by the then Head of Light Entertainment at LWT David Bell and directed by Alasdair Macmillan. In its day, the programme attracted a large audience and regularly featured in the TV top ten. A further series of six shows followed in 1986 from London's Piccadilly Theatre, airing simply as Live From the Piccadilly. 1987 witnessed yet another change of venue with a further three series airing as Live From the Palladium until the programme's eventual cancellation in 1988.
During the show's run on 15 April 1984, comedian Tommy Cooper collapsed and died after suffering a massive heart attack. Cooper collapsed against the curtain, and everyone was howling with laughter, thinking that it was a joke Cooper was playing. It wasn't until compere Jimmy Tarbuck realised that the drop wasn't part of Cooper's plot, and everyone suddenly realised what had occurred. Backstage, while the show continued, paramedics frantically attempted to revive Cooper but he was pronounced dead at the scene. Cooper's death was announced internationally on the BBC News later that evening. Cooper's funeral took place on 21 April 1984, with thousands of friends, family and fans in attendance. He was cremated.
In 2012 Jimmy Tarbuck admitted on Piers Morgan's chat show that at the time his agent told him that Cooper would be ok and that is why it was easier to go back out on stage. It wasn't until the end of the show when he came off that he found out that Cooper had died.