Boxer Bruno makes theatre appearance

Frank Bruno tonight chose the 75th Royal Variety Performance to make his first public appearance since his high-profile battle with depression.

Frank Bruno tonight chose the 75th Royal Variety Performance to make his first public appearance since his high-profile battle with depression.

The former world heavyweight champion and pantomime star was greeted by a standing ovation from the audience as he made a surprise appearance on stage at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre.

Bruno, humorously introduced by Scots comic Ronnie Corbett as his “twin brother”, chuckled his way through his fleeting appearance on stage.

The star, who spoke briefly, was said to have been thrilled to appear in front of England's Queen tonight.

Bruno, one of Britain’s best-loved sports personalities, was sectioned under the Mental Health Act in September, after police and health workers visited his Essex home.

The boxing legend, who was divorced three years ago from wife Laura, the mother of his three children, later said he was also hit by the death of his boxing friend and mentor George Francis, who committed suicide after losing his wife and son to cancer.

Earlier the Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, arrived amid tight security to be greeted on the red carpet by the city’s Lord Provost, Lesley Hinds.

The Queen, wearing a turquoise creation by Edinburgh College of Art graduate Stuart Parkin, entered the theatre to the sound of bagpipes.

Press photographers and Edinburgh residents lined the street just outside the venue to catch a glimpse of the royal visitors.

Traditionally held in London, this year marks the Royal Variety’s first appearance in Edinburgh.

An array of showbiz stars turned out in a bid to make the anniversary performance memorable.

This afternoon, police chiefs denied having received any intelligence that al Qaida was planning a terror strike at the event.

The Deputy Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police Tom Wood said that while security would be tight, there was “no need to panic”.

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