BBC Radio 2 Live in Leeds: Robbie Williams recruits 56-piece orchestra for special performance

Robbie Williams will be joined by the 56-piece BBC Concert Orchestra for a special performance at the Radio 2 Live In Leeds event.

The 48-year-old singer will headline the Sunday bill alongside previously announced acts including Nile Rodgers and Chic, George Ezra and Spice Girls star Melanie C.

Meanwhile, Elbow join the Saturday billing alongside acts such as Simple Minds, Tears For Fears and Craig David.

The two new additions to the billing were announced by Zoe Ball on her BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show.

Robbie Williams performs at half-time during the Soccer Aid for UNICEF match at The London Stadium (Photo: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire)

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    Take That's Howard Donald will also join the network's presenters to perform a set in the new Radio 2 Live DJ Tent.

    Williams, who last performed for Radio 2 In Concert in November 2019, said: "I'm thrilled to be performing at Radio 2 Live at Leeds with my band and the legendary BBC Concert Orchestra in September. I'm really looking forward to seeing you all in Leeds."

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    Bury-formed rockers Elbow added: "Elbow has a history of great gigs in Leeds, and sharing the stage with our heroes Simple Minds and Tears For Fears will turn us all back into jelly-kneed teenagers."

    Jeff Smith, head of music for Radio 2, said the two acts were joining "what is already a stellar bill of globally-renowned artists, this is going to be a truly memorable weekend of music".

    He added: "Come and join us in Leeds, or if you can't be there in person, you can see and hear the performances on Radio 2, BBC Sounds, BBC iPlayer and BBC Two."

    The BBC expects this year's edition to be the biggest yet, attracting some 60,000 fans over two days at Temple Newsam Park in Leeds.

    The event will be broadcast live on Radio 2 and the full sets will be available to listen to on BBC Sounds for 30 days afterwards.

    The main stage will also be live-streamed on iPlayer throughout the weekend.

    It was also announced that Williams will appear on Reel Stories with Dermot O'Leary, in which the presenter sits down with famous guests to look back at key moments in their life and career.

    Previous guests have included Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, Noel Gallagher, Kylie Minogue, Sting and Sir Rod Stewart.

    Radio 2 Live in Leeds takes place on Saturday September 17 and Sunday September 18.