Australian host Matt Doran issued a lengthy apology to Adele after he interviewed her earlier this month without having listened to her new album “30.” The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with the largest week of 2021 for any album.
Doran, a Channel Seven Weekend Sunrise host, made a statement about the incident during an on-air broadcast on Friday, Nov. 26 in an attempt to apologize to the Grammy-winning singer and set the record straight.
“I want to address something that’s made headlines this week and something that I would like to apologize for,” he began. “This is a story that has sparked a torrent of abuse and mockery from around the world and if I’m being honest with you, the bulk of this savaging I deserve and I totally own.”
During his on-air mea culpa, Doran — who described the opportunity to interview Adele as an “unspeakable privilege” and “one of the highlights of my career” — said that he had flown to London to interview the singer but made an error prior to the interview.
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) November 26, 2021
“I made the terrible mistake of assuming we weren’t to be given a previewed copy of this album because our interview was airing before it was released and Adele’s album was the industry’s most prized secret,” he explained. “The day after, after we landed in London, an email came through from Sony. It didn’t mention Adele, but it did contain a link to her album. The genuine, deadset, hand on heart truth is that I missed it. By an absurdly large margin, the most important email I’ve ever missed in my life.”
Despite claims reported by The Daily Telegraph that Adele had walked out from the interview entirely after he told the singer that he hadn’t listened to her new music yet, Doran says that in reality, they exceeded their time to chat.
“The interview itself, Adele didn’t walk out, it ran overtime,” he said, before delving into some of their discussion topics from the interview. “At least half of the interview focused squarely on the new music, that I thought it was reductive to describe it to as simply being about divorce, that it was about empowerment and would inspire people to summon the courage to steer their lives in a new direction.”
“We spoke of the paradox that is being the world’s most famous artist but hating fame. We also had discussed at length the concept of pure artistry, the majesty of Adele’s voice, what it must be like to hear that sound come out of one’s own mouth. How ‘Easy On Me’ was conceived in part by singing a cappella in the shower, and how the album helped repair her relationship towards the end with her now late father.”
Doran described Adele as “profound,” “funny,” “raw,” and “honest” during their 29 minute chat, adding, “Honest enough to describe her depression as ‘end of the world stuff.’"
“But all that doesn’t matter because by missing the album link, however I might try to justify it, I’ve insulted Adele,” he said. “To Adele I say, I’d never have knowingly disrespected you by deliberately not listening to your work. I am so sorry. I also apologize to Adele’s Australian fans and to you, our viewers, who through my error have been denied this interview and the insight into her character.”
To end his apology, Doran referenced a line from the song “Hold On” on Adele’s new album, “Sometimes forgiveness is easiest in secret.”
“I’m not expecting that forgiveness, but I do owe you an apology,” he said. “Thank you so much for joining us this morning here at Weekend Sunrise. That’s all for today, we’ll see you tomorrow.”
BBC shared reports that Doran’s trip to London with two colleagues was part of a rights package that cost the network $1 million AUD ($712,000 USD) which included local rights to air her concert special. Doran’s oversight and unpreparedness for the interview is said to have ultimately resulted in Sony withholding the footage from the interview, denying the channel the rights to air it.
Ahead of the release of “30,” Adele had multiple candid interviews across global magazines, with fellow celebrities like John Mayer and her massive interview with Oprah Winfrey as part of the TV special “Adele: One Night Only.”