An Audience with...
|An Audience with...|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||59|
|Producer(s)||ITV Studios (originally London Weekend Television)|
|Running time||60–90 minutes (including adverts)|
|First shown in||1978 (An Audience with Jasper Carrott, six-part series)|
|Original release||16 December 1980 –|
1 June 2013
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
An Audience with...
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.
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. 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.
Hosts were often joined on staged by special guests. Singer Lionel Richie was joined by Westlife, Lulu was joined in a duet with former husband Maurice Gibb, the Bee Gees performed with Boyzone, Ricky Martin was joined by Kylie Minogue, and Take That performed Relight My Fire with Lulu. 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". Comedian Ronnie Corbett had as his special guest his longtime comedy partner, Ronnie Barker.
Comedian hosts often involved audience members on stage, such as Brian Conley's sword and card trick on Christine Hamilton performed blindfolded, Freddie Starr's act of seemingly throwing knives at a blindfolded Garry Bushell. Comedians will also interact with the audience, with Freddie Starr throwing maggots over Faith Brown, and Al Murray, in his Pub Landlord persona, spilt drinks over them. Singing based shows also sometimes involved comic relief, with Frank Skinner appearing in drag as one of Lulu's backing singers, and Kylie Minogue being joined on stage for a romantic duet with Kermit the Frog.
An Audience Without... Jeremy Beadle
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.
30 Years of An Audience With
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 to 14 August 2010.
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.
Episode 2 looked at the shows hosted by Ken Dodd, Lionel Richie, Brian Conley, Victoria Wood, and Lulu, with interviews from all five hosts.
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.
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.
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.
In June 1993, Les Dawson was due to record an edition of An Audience with..., but died a fortnight prior to the planned recording. 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".
List of episodes
|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|
|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|
|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|
|45||Lionel Richie||singer||ITV||9 December 2006||Second live edition|
|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|
|49||Neil Diamond||singer||ITV||31 May 2008|
|50||Donny and Marie||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)|
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.
- "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.
- "30 Years of An Audience With, Episode 1". ITV. 6 July 2010. Archived from the original on 18 July 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
- "30 Years of An Audience With, Episode 2". ITV. 13 July 2010. Archived from the original on 3 August 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
- "30 Years of An Audience With, Episode 3". ITV. 19 July 2010. Archived from the original on 25 July 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
- "30 Years of An Audience With, Episode 4". ITV. 28 July 2010. Archived from the original on 2 August 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
- "30 Years of An Audience With, Episode 5". ITV. 4 August 2010. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
- "An Audience Without Jeremy Beadle". ITV. 31 March 2008. Archived from the original on 19 August 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
- "Les Dawson: An Audience With That Never Was | presscentre". Itv.com. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- Johnston, Jenny (31 May 2013). "Les Dawson will be back on TV again tonight - as a hologram! | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- "Can a hologram Les Dawson tell 'em like he used to? | Brian Logan | Comment is free". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- "BBC News - Les Dawson's 'hologram' comeback". Bbc.co.uk. 31 May 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- Lee, Cara (11 August 2009). "Osmonds back with TV". London: The Sun. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
- "Les Dawson: An Audience with That Never Was". ITV. May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.