An Audience with Adele: even celeb sycophants couldn’t ruin Adele’s night

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Susannah Butter (Daniel Hambury)
Susannah Butter (Daniel Hambury)

Is there any celebrity who wasn’t at An Audience with Adele last night? The point of the show was to watch the popstar perform her new album, along with a bit of chat, but the audience stole the show. It was a brilliantly eclectic crowd — where else except for in someone’s fantasy dinner party would you see Stormzy, Bryan Cranston and, er, David Seaman together? I wanted a spin off about them.

They were palpably excited to be out, too excited some might say — the way Emmas Watson and Thompson were dancing and singing along to every song was entertaining to watch but would have been hell if you were sat next to them. Have they ever been to a gig? Do they know that people have come to watch the performer, not them caterwauling their way through karaoke-style cover versions of their songs? Poor Michael McIntyre, next to Thompson, looked like he was wondering if he could swap seats.

Watch: Mel B reportedly omitted from Adele TV show after X-rated comment

Consummate professional Adele was not put off though. ITV’s “Audience with” format is demanding but she has what it takes, both as a musician and host. It was a welcome contrast with her Oprah interview, where she lacked her usual charisma and spoke in meaningless clichés straight out of a self-help book, saying things like you must “arrive for yourself every day”. It was quite a feat that Oprah managed to make Adele seem boring. But last night she was back in her element, greeting Samuel L Jackson with an “oi oi!” and bemoaning her tights getting baggy around the crotch, like your hot mess friend after too much lady petrol. It was far from smooth but that was the joy of it — Alan Carr had to come to Adele’s rescue and fill in for her on stage while she went to retouch her makeup after an appearance from her old English teacher made her weepy.

Carr’s supporting role was vital. He and Adele have a genuine friendship and it is fun to feel like you are in on their jokes. He was the only celebrity in the audience who asked a decent thing, about her exes, rather than just giving a sycophantic comment disguised as a question. If it all goes wrong for Adele and Alan (unlikely), they could easily have a successful second career hosting a chat show together. 

 Like a brilliant party, a brilliant TV show leaves unanswered questions, here it was what happened between Stormzy and Adele in their “real moment with the ocean and God and all sorts”. Even if you aren’t completely won over by all of Adele’s music (I think it could do with dropping a few more beats), this show was her at her best - funny, talented and full of heart. No wonder Emma Thompson got a bit carried away. 

What did you think of An Audience with Adele? Let us know in the comments below.

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