Emma Thompson's cameo in Adele song ’n’ dunce show proves Strictly's Greg Wise isn’t worst dancer in his family

A GENUINE revelation from ITV, at the weekend.

Turns out, Strictly’s Greg Wise isn’t the worst dancer in his family. Not by a long shot.


An unthinkable concept, a month or two ago, when teaching your pet ­tortoise to do the samba looked like an easier task than the one poor old Karen Hauer had on her hands trying to get Greg to do the macarena.

We know it to be true, though, ­having seen Emma Thompson doing the “posh girl hula” at the London ­Palladium on Sunday night.

One of several eye-catching cameos at An Audience With Adele where, despite Emma’s whirling dervish ­routine, there was a certain rhythm to the evening.

Adele started with a slow one about an old break-up, moved on to a couple of slower ones, about another break-up, before finishing off the set with a slow one about her most recent break-up.

Carefully chosen creeps  

A cynical view that might lead some of her more highly strung fans to believe I’m not really on board with a recent nationwide memo which seems to have stated: “Grovelling adoration of Adele is now compulsory and failure to comply may result in a custodial sentence.”

It’s not true, though. I am just completely indifferent to the music of Adele. What I couldn’t stand, or stop watching, however, was everything else that ­happened around the girl, at An Audience With, most of which was oozing from the front ten rows where guests included: Naomi Campbell, Nick Grimshaw, Emma Watson, Stormzy, Phillip Schofield (plus one), Gareth Southgate, the back of Harry Hill’s head, comedy gimp Alan Carr, Idris “I’m amazing” Elba and Boy George, who seemed to have come dressed for An ­Audience With Ken Dodd.

On the surface of it, of course, they were all taking part in a beautifully uncomplicated process here.

Adele performed the hits and the celebrities all wore their best “presence of greatness” expressions while a few carefully chosen creeps got to massage her ego with dolly-drop questions like: “What’s your favourite biscuit?” (we haven’t got all night, Idris) or, in the case of Emma ­Thompson, reunited an emotional Adele with her favourite teacher.

As with nearly all episodes of the franchise, though, it was the other stuff that really stopped me entering into the proper spirit of An Audience With. And by “other stuff” I mean ­absolutely everything from the cultish sycophancy of Hannah Waddingham, who began her question by stating “You are so rightly idolised around the world,” to the vivid red hairdo being worn by David Tennant.

It’s all meant to be deeply reverential and humble, obviously, but you could tell there was a lot of jockeying for position going on by the fact hardly any of them knew the song lyrics and the way Sir Ben Kingsley’s head almost started spinning on its axis, like The Exorcist, when Adele described Daniel Kaluuya as “the greatest actor”.

I am just completely indifferent to the music of Adele. What I couldn’t stand, or stop watching, however, was everything else that ­happened around the girl.

And then of course, there was Emma’s dancing. This woman truly believes, I think, she always brings the party. The emails that arrived from ­readers during the course of AAWA told a rather different and more hostile story, although they also expressed concern that Emma’s convulsions had become so frantic, during Send My Love, that Dermot O’Leary might have to perform CPR on her.

The simple way to avoid such ­displays, of course, would be to place the key workers and NHS staff in the lamp-lit seats, offer the celebs a place in the upper circle with the rest of the civilian nosebleeds and then watch 95 per cent of our famous friends ­vanish into thin air.

Nonentities like Gemma

There is, though, a contradiction at the heart of all my bellyaching.

Because, whether you liked it or not, in terms of entertainment, AAWA blew I’m A Celebrity out of the water on Sunday night.

A verdict that may ­personally owe a lot to the celebrity exhibitionism on show, but it’s also down to the enduring brilliance of the Audience With format, which has been mothballed, in recent years, thanks to ITV’s fixation with building up non- entities like Gemma Collins instead of real talent.

So scarce has the latter commodity become, in fact, that the only names, off the top of my head, I think could now fit the bill are Bradley Walsh, Michael McIntyre, Peter Kay and Kevin Bridges.

Rest assured, though, if anyone at ITV should accidentally stumble upon these suggestions, you are absolutely 100 per cent guaranteed An Audience With Alison Hammond or Gino D’Abloody Campo.


Great sporting insights

TIM SHERWOOD: “It’s a 100 per cent penalty to United. They’re just checking if it’s offside.”

Lewis Hamilton: “I don’t remember a race like it. I remember one like it in 2003.”

Paul Merson: “If that game ­finishes 0-0, Chelsea win it.”

Compiled by Graham Wray

  • MEANWHILE, back on Miriam & Alan: Lost In Scotland, Alan Cumming still insists: “There’s always a good time to be had with Miriam Margolyes in the passenger seat.” Yet still no sign of an ejector button.

Lookalike of the week

  • Picture research: Amy Reading

Random TV irritations

JOE SUGG averaging 3.27 “wows” a minute on his heinously dull episode of Who Do You Think You Are? BBC, ITV and Channel 4 all needing to sit down and watch The White Lotus to remind themselves how great drama is made.

The overacting jurors on BBC1’s woeful new “he-dunnit” series Showtrial.

The utter indignity of having to call fully grown adults with perfectly serviceable names “Snoochie Shy” and “Naughty Boy”.

And the sure and certain belief not one of the woke warriors ­currently demanding a blanket ban for repeats of The Benny Hill Show, on the grounds of sexism, will have raised a peep of ­complaint about BBC2 continuing to employ far Left comedian Frankie Boyle, whose stage ­material has included “jokes” about raping Victoria Pendleton and beating up Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Right-on hypocrisy rules.

Unexpected morons in bagging area

THE Chase, Bradley Walsh: “Who is the mother of jewellery designer Jade Jagger?”

Dominique: “Mick Jagger.”

Bradley Walsh: “Which Welsh singer is the main character in the musical Tom?”

Ollie: “Charlotte Church.”

Bradley Walsh: “What South American country is the main ­producer of Malbec wine?”

Alan: “South Africa.”

And The Wheel, Michael ­McIntyre: “I’m looking for a green fruit or vegetable?”

Big Narstie: “Orange.”

TV GOLD

THE sensational Joanna ­Vanderham lifting Britbox drama Crime out of the usual Irvine Welsh mire.

Bradley Walsh’s superb ­handling of the thickest panellists and contestants yet, on Blankety Blank.

Amazon’s James Blunt ­turning out to be a total TV natural hosting the thirst-provoking Beer Masters.

And Ant & Dec’s brilliant take-down of Boris Johnson’s Peppa Pig speech, on Monday’s I’m A Celeb, which will be, I promise you, a thousand times funnier than anything those pompous old bores on Have I Got News For You and The Last Leg have to say on the subject tonight.

'SO SEXIST'

  • INCIDENTALLY, on Tuesday’s Good Morning Britain, actress Debbie Arnold angrily denounced the decision of an obscure ­satellite channel to repeat old ­episodes of Benny Hill, a show she’d refused to grace, on a point of principle: “Because it was so, SO sexist and dated. A show ­written by men for men and not for women.”

And if you’re having trouble ­placing Debbie according to her own website, she once appeared in a 1986 series of The Two ­Ronnies playing a character called Voluptua Goodbody.

  • I’M A Celebrity . . . Day One, Snoochie Shy: “I’m just thinking about the process of carrying poo. Well don’t. It’s Ant & Dec’s job to carry this s**t.

ROS AND FRIENDS GO NUTS

CAN’T help thinking Amazon has dropped a massive one with the name of “the servants of the dark” who are meant to haunt its new £60million fantasy adventure series The Wheel Of Time.

They’re the Trollocs. That’s right. Great, big, hairy Trollocs, who genuinely shrivel at the sight of cold, deep water and couldn’t have been rendered much less scary if they were called The Infesticles or Dongleberries.

Even without these murderous scrotums chasing Rosamund Pike and her tormented throng of dragon people through endless central European forests, I still think I’d have had a couple of issues with The Wheel Of Time, though.

First, because I reckon there must be better ways of spending all that money than simply trying to recreate Game Of Thrones with an added layer of wokery. And second, because I simply don’t have a lively and vivid enough imagination to throw myself into fantasy adventure with all its sorcery and medieval profundities: “You don’t listen to the wind, Egwene. The wind listens to you.”

Especially not when there’s so much hair dye floating around and I think I can spot aeroplane vapour trails criss-crossing the Czech Republic sky in episode three.

Still, the acting is decent enough, particularly from Rosamund, who plays hand-wafting magician Moiraine, and Barney Harris as potential dragon lord Mat Cauthon, and the script does its job – right up until the point someone notices another disturbance in the forest.

“What are those?”

“More Trollocs. 300 at least.” ’Cos that is a load of Trollocs.

Sycophant of the week

Good Morning Britain host Adil “Citizen Khan” Ray: “Adele was incredible, I have to say. I thought what was great about An Audience With Adele was her chat with the audience. She’s incredible.

“She’s very funny. She was actually funnier than Dawn French. It was just quite something. She’s a real talent. What a star she is now.”

A verdict which really is the equivalent of Gazza being complimented on his singing by Chico.

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