If Helen of Troy had a face that launched a thousand ships, surely Shirley Bassey has a voice that could do the same. Yesterday, with some help from Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville, she named just one – P&O’s Adonia. Helen would have been proud of her.
After the traditional bottle-breaking ceremony in the afternoon sun – using Balfour Brut Rose, an English pink sparkling wine and a zip-wire – and a dinner menu which included lobster, smoked salmon, fillet of beef and a chocolate dessert, Dame Shirley returned to the stage after dusk to introduce a spectacular firework display.
She also burst into an impromptu and unaccompanied rendition of Diamonds Are Forever, surprisingly not captured for the official P&O video (above) but preserved for posterity (below) by my friend and colleague Dave Monk, deputy editor of Metro.
Famously born in Cardiff’s Tiger Bay district, Bassey now lives in Monte Carlo and says she is looking forward to welcoming Adonia on the ship’s first visit to the principality in November.