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Prima ballerina Darcey Bussell CBE will name Azura, the latest P&O Cruises ship built exclusively for Britain.
The spectacular celebrity naming ceremony, with Darcey Bussell as the ship's Godmother, takes place on Saturday (April 10), prior to Azura's maiden cruise to the Mediterranean, departing on Monday.
Widely considered to be one of the greatest ballerinas of all time, Miss Bussell will dance in the "Girl Hunt" scene reminiscent of Cyd Charisse in Band Wagon and then twirl on the top deck of the ship.
Darcey Bussell says, "It's a great honour to be involved as Azura's godmother. For me this is a wonderful event because I am able promote the best of dance within one evening. It's wonderful that P&O Cruises is carrying on that theme from the old films where dance was so important."
P&O Cruises managing director, Carol Marlow said: "Darcey embodies glamour, vitality and classical elegance, which are also reflected in Azura. We are honoured that she has agreed to become Godmother. Azura has one of her three magnificent dance floors right at the heart of the ship, so with dancing a real feature, Darcey was a natural choice for Godmother and very fittingly will give Azura the best possible start in life."
In keeping with Azura's "back to the future" values, her naming ceremony is a departure from tradition yet captured the glamorous spirit of dance and romance. As well as Darcey's customary champagne naming, the celebration encompassed a spectacular event with clips from the most memorable dance sequences in film history, on Azura's new SeaScreen, along with a live dance show.
Over 1,200 guests will be on board including Azura's consultant Michelin-starred chef, Atul Kochhar; wine expert Olly Smith who has a designer wine bar on board; TV presenter Emma Crosby; Strictly Come Dancing stars Tom Chambers, Camilla Dallerup and Craig Revel Horwood; Angela Griffin; The Bill's Lisa Maxwell; Mistresses star Shelley Conn and comedian Johnny Vegas.
The occasion will benefit three charities supported by Darcey Bussell - The Prince's Rainforest Trust, Royal Ballet School and Sydney Dance Company.