An Audience with...

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An Audience with...
GenreComedy, Entertainment
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of episodes59
Producer(s)ITV Studios (originally London Weekend Television)
Running time60–90 minutes (including adverts)
Original networkITV
Channel 4
First shown in1978 (An Audience with Jasper Carrott, six-part series)
Original release16 December 1980 (1980-12-16) –
1 June 2013 (2013-06-01)
External links

An Audience with... was a British entertainment television show produced by London Weekend Television (now part of ITV Studios), in which a host, usually a singer or comedian, performed for an invited audience of celebrity guests, interspersed with questions from the audience, in a light hearted revue/tribute style.


The show's title began as An Audience with Jasper Carrott, a normal six-part television series for the comedian, his first television show, broadcast in 1978, produced by London Weekend Television (LWT). From 1980 onwards, the show then changed into An Audience with...(name of host), with one-off special guest hosts performing in front of celebrity audiences.

The show was traditionally broadcast on ITV on Saturday nights, while some shows in the 1980s were broadcast on Channel 4. The show has been commissioned at varying intervals, with ten shows broadcast in the 1980s, followed by twenty in each in the decades of the 1990s and 2000s. From 1994 there were at least one and often multiple shows broadcast per year, with the exception of 2000 and 2003.

Some hosts appeared multiple times. Dame Edna Everage was host three times, while Freddie Starr, Ken Dodd, Joan Rivers, Shirley Bassey, Al Murray and Donny Osmond were all asked to return once. One show, for Jeremy Beadle, was hosted posthumously in 2008. In 2010, a five-part highlights series of the show, 30 Years of An Audience With, was broadcast on ITV.

More recent shows focused more on musicians and singers rather than comedians - the last comedian given An Audience with... was Al Murray in 2007.

An Audience with Jasper Carrott[edit]

The An Audience With title was first used in a television series produced by London Weekend Television (LWT) for the comedian Jasper Carrott, which aired for six episodes in 1978.[1]

An Audience with...[edit]

From 1980, the show took on a format where a special guest would host a one off show in front of a celebrity audience, and have their name appended to the title. Dame Edna Everage was the first host of An Audience with... in 1980.[2]

The show had numerous hosts since then, mostly comedians and singers. Occasionally, pop groups, actors and television presenters also hosted the show. One-off hosts in the series have been an episode hosted by a puppet, Sooty, by the cast of a television show, the ITV soap opera Coronation Street, and by a sportsperson, the boxer Lennox Lewis. The Spice Girls were the first pop group to host the show, in 1997.[2] In 2006, An Audience with Take That was the first time the show was performed live, continued with the next show, An Audience with Lionel Richie.[3]

Hosts were often joined on staged by special guests. Singer Lionel Richie was joined by Westlife,[3] Lulu was joined in a duet with former husband Maurice Gibb,[3] the Bee Gees performed with Boyzone, Ricky Martin was joined by Kylie Minogue,[4] and Take That performed Relight My Fire with Lulu.[5] All round entertainer Des O'Connor was joined on stage by Martine McCutcheon, and dueted with Lionel Richie in a version of "Three Times a Lady".[6] Comedian Ronnie Corbett had as his special guest his longtime comedy partner, Ronnie Barker.[6]

Comedian hosts often involved audience members on stage, such as Brian Conley's sword and card trick on Christine Hamilton performed blindfolded,[3] Freddie Starr's act of seemingly throwing knives at a blindfolded Garry Bushell.[4] Comedians will also interact with the audience, with Freddie Starr throwing maggots over Faith Brown,[4] and Al Murray, in his Pub Landlord persona, spilt drinks over them.[6] Singing based shows also sometimes involved comic relief, with Frank Skinner appearing in drag as one of Lulu's backing singers,[3] and Kylie Minogue being joined on stage for a romantic duet with Kermit the Frog.[6]

An Audience Without... Jeremy Beadle[edit]

After the death of the television practical joker Jeremy Beadle on 30 January 2008, ITV decided to commission An Audience Without... Jeremy Beadle, to celebrate his best work and raise money for some of his favourite charities. Broadcast on 16 May 2008, the show was hosted by Chris Tarrant, and included the results of an ITV public vote choosing his top-5 best ever pranks from his show, Beadle's About. This episode was produced by Talent Television.[7]

30 Years of An Audience With[edit]

In 2010, ITV broadcast 30 Years of An Audience With, looking back at the history of the series, with interviews from past guests, and clips from old shows. The show was broadcast in five hour-long episodes, from 17 July 2010[2] to 14 August 2010.[6]

Episode 1 looked back at the shows featuring Dame Edna Everage, The Spice Girls, Bob Monkhouse, Joe Pasquale and Donny & Marie, and featured interviews including Dame Edna, Mel B, Emma Bunton and Joe Pasquale.[2]

Episode 2 looked at the shows hosted by Ken Dodd, Lionel Richie, Brian Conley, Victoria Wood, and Lulu, with interviews from all five hosts.[3]

Episode 3 looked at the shows hosted by Freddie Starr, The Bee Gees, Joan Rivers, Bruce Forsyth and Ricky Martin, with interviews including Robin Gibb, Joan Rivers and Bruce Forsyth.[4]

Episode 4 looked at the shows hosted by Dame Shirley Bassey, Take That, Sir Cliff Richard, Jackie Mason and Jimmy Tarbuck, with interviews from Jackie Mason and Jimmy Tarbuck.[5]

Episode 5 looked at the shows hosted by Des O'Connor, Al Murray, Ronnie Corbett, Kylie Minogue and Michael Bublé with interviews from O'Connor, Murray and Corbett.[6]

Les Dawson[edit]

In June 1993, Les Dawson was due to record an edition of An Audience with..., but died a fortnight prior to the planned recording.[8] On the 20th anniversary of the comedian's untimely death, ITV decided to mark the occasion with the use of a technology which gave the illusion that he was on stage.

The chief executive of Musion Systems the company that provided the technology, told the Today programme's Sarah Montague that "it's not actually a hologram but the world perceives what we do as holograms, so we call it holograms." He explained how the technology allows people "to appear as though [they are] on stage".[9][10][11]

List of episodes[edit]

No. Guest Genre Channel Air date Notes
N/A Jasper Carrott comedian ITV N/A Series of six shows
1 Dame Edna Everage comedian ITV 16 December 1980
2 Dudley Moore actor ITV 26 December 1981
3 Kenneth Williams actor, comedian Channel 4 23 December 1983
4 Mel Brooks comedian ITV 4 February 1984
5 Joan Rivers comedian Channel 4 17 March 1984
6 Dame Edna Everage comedian Channel 4 31 December 1984 (Another Evening with...)
7 Billy Connolly comedian Channel 4 26 October 1985
8 Peter Ustinov actor ITV 3 January 1988
9 Victoria Wood comedian ITV 10 December 1988 Won two BAFTA awards[3]
10 Dame Edna Everage comedian ITV 15 December 1988 (One More Audience with...)
11 Jackie Mason comedian Channel 4 27 December 1990
12 Bob Monkhouse comedian ITV 21 May 1994
13 Jimmy Tarbuck comedian ITV 22 October 1994
14 Ken Dodd comedian ITV 3 December 1994
15 Shirley Bassey singer ITV 21 October 1995
16 Freddie Starr comedian ITV 2 March 1996
17 Sooty puppet ITV 24 October 1996
18 Bruce Forsyth presenter ITV 1 February 1997
19 Alf Garnett Fictional character ITV 5 April 1997
20 Elton John singer ITV 27 September 1997
21 Freddie Starr comedian ITV 11 October 1997 (Another Audience with...)
22 Ronnie Corbett comedian ITV 25 October 1997
23 Spice Girls pop group ITV 29 November 1997 All-female audience[2]
24 Rod Stewart singer ITV 30 May 1998
25 Bee Gees pop group ITV 7 November 1998
26 Simply Red singer ITV 12 December 1998
27 Lennox Lewis sportsman (boxer) ITV 3 April 1999
28 Tom Jones singer ITV 25 September 1999
29 Sir Cliff Richard singer ITV 13 November 1999
30 Diana Ross singer ITV 11 December 1999
31 Des O'Connor presenter ITV 20 January 2001
32 Ricky Martin singer ITV 10 February 2001
33 Kylie Minogue singer ITV 6 October 2001
34 Ken Dodd comedian ITV 9 February 2002 (Another Audience with...)
35 Lulu singer ITV 18 May 2002
36 Brian Conley comedian ITV 25 May 2002
37 Donny Osmond singer ITV 23 November 2002
38 Harry Hill comedian ITV 16 October 2004
39 Joe Pasquale comedian ITV 19 February 2005
40 Al Murray (The Pub Landlord) comedian ITV 19 March 2005
41 Joan Rivers comedian ITV 14 January 2006 (Another Audience with...)
42 Shirley Bassey singer ITV 10 March 2006 (Another Audience with...)
43 Coronation Street soap opera ITV 22 April 2006
44 Take That pop group ITV 2 December 2006 First live edition[3]
45 Lionel Richie singer ITV 9 December 2006 Second live edition[3]
46 Al Murray (The Pub Landlord) comedian ITV 27 October 2007 (Another Audience With)
47 Celine Dion singer ITV 22 December 2007
48 Jeremy Beadle presenter ITV 16 May 2008 posthumous; hosted by Chris Tarrant[7]
49 Neil Diamond singer ITV 31 May 2008
50 Donny and Marie[12] pop group ITV 11 November 2009 Donny returns after hosting in 2002
51 Michael Bublé singer ITV 23 May 2010
52 Barry Manilow singer ITV 28 October 2011
53 Les Dawson comedian ITV 1 June 2013 (An Audience with That Never Was)[13]

DVD releases[edit]

In 2007, selected An Audience with... shows were individually released on DVD. Prior to this, the October 1985 show featuring Billy Connolly had been issued on its own, both in VHS format and on DVD. Virgin Video released the extended uncut studio version, coming in at apx 78 minutes, instead of the later 50 minute television version. On 14 November 2005, Network released An Audience with Dame Edna Everage which featured all three appearances, across two discs and became a bestseller.


  1. ^ "Jasper Carrott O.B.E. - A Brief Biography". Jasper Carrott Official Website. n.d. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2010. His first television series was aired in 1978, 'An Audience with Jasper Carrott' for LWT, a series of six shows. The show title was then purloined for the hour-long celebrity shows with which we are now all familiar.
  2. ^ a b c d e "30 Years of An Audience With, Episode 1". ITV. 6 July 2010. Archived from the original on 18 July 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "30 Years of An Audience With, Episode 2". ITV. 13 July 2010. Archived from the original on 3 August 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d "30 Years of An Audience With, Episode 3". ITV. 19 July 2010. Archived from the original on 25 July 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
  5. ^ a b "30 Years of An Audience With, Episode 4". ITV. 28 July 2010. Archived from the original on 2 August 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "30 Years of An Audience With, Episode 5". ITV. 4 August 2010. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
  7. ^ a b "An Audience Without Jeremy Beadle". ITV. 31 March 2008. Archived from the original on 19 August 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
  8. ^ "Les Dawson: An Audience With That Never Was | presscentre". 7 May 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  9. ^ Johnston, Jenny (31 May 2013). "Les Dawson will be back on TV again tonight - as a hologram! | Mail Online". Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  10. ^ "Can a hologram Les Dawson tell 'em like he used to? | Brian Logan | Comment is free". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  11. ^ "BBC News - Les Dawson's 'hologram' comeback". 31 May 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  12. ^ Lee, Cara (11 August 2009). "Osmonds back with TV". London: The Sun. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
  13. ^ "Les Dawson: An Audience with That Never Was". ITV. May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.

External links[edit]