One Was Amused

One Was Amused


I have made it back to Australia, won an AFI Award for Spicks and Specks, filmed our Christmas special, and spent a day in bed with some sort of stomach complaint. And to think last Monday I was at the Royal Variety Performance – it’s been a helluva week.

I wrote a little diary piece for the Australian papers about my Royal Variety experience, which they printed in part, so I thought I’d post the whole thing here for you.

Hope you like it


Here’s how my crazy day went:

11.30am Arrive at The Blackpool Opera House. I have spent the last two nights in Manchester practising my act at the Comedy Store. 250 drunken Mancunians have prepared me for the Royal Variety audience.

12.15pm Full cast rehearsal for the closing number. I am onstage with Whoopi Goldberg, Bette Midler, Lady Gaga, Mika, Miley Cyrus, Anastacia, Chaka Khan, Michael Buble. Not quite sure who the older gentleman in the suit is, then I realise – it’s Andre Rieu. I compliment Mika on his collar, he tells me his Mum made it.

1pm Full cast are given their positions for meeting The Queen. I am standing next to Lady Gaga. I say “Hi, I’m Adam.”  She says “Hi, I’m Gaga”.  I say “I’m on after you, so can you leave a little something in the room for me?” She seems to laugh.

2pm Full Dress rehearsal for the second half of the show. I watch Andre Rieu and Lady Gaga perform then do my act to 150 cast members in a 3000 seat theatre. It is weird, but seems to go well.

6pm Theatre goes into “Full Palace Lockdown”. Not sure what that means but it sounds serious.

7pm The Queen arrives, having taken the Royal train up from London. We are told that because she is early, the show will start straight away.

7.10pm The show starts. I go to the green room to watch on the big screens. Whoopi Goldberg arrives and tells me “I saw your rehearsal and you were very funny.”  Couldn’t be happier. I look around the room and see Bette Midler, Anastacia and Lulu all watching as well. Everyone watches everyone else’s performance, and when they return to the green room we all applaud.

8.45pm Whoopi returns to the room after her performance. She tells me how hard it was to not swear in front of The Queen. We chat for about fifteen minutes and are interrupted by a producer saying “Adam, I have to take you backstage now”. Whoopi says “Kick ass baby!”

9.20pm Lady Gaga is on stage, I am in the wings. My heart is pounding so hard I can feel it under my suit. Lady Gaga storms it, Peter Kay tells the audience I have flown in just for the show, I’m on.

9.21pm I start with a phrase I have never uttered before in my life –  “Your Majesty, Your Royal Highness, ladies and gentlemen…” and we’re off.

9.22pm I almost lose the audience when I tell them I am going home for “a real Christmas”.  They hang in there though, and really start laughing when I talk about my artificial foot. After eight heart-thumping, nerve-wracking but ultimately enjoyable minutes I am done.

9.30pm I get to the Green Room. Whoopi smiles and says “Do you know you just killed it?” She then gives me her email address and says “Let me know when you’re in New York”. Couldn’t be happier.

10.15pm We are called back to the stage for the finale. I walk on with English comedian Hal Cruttenden, nearly trip over ukelele player Jake Shimabukuro, and we all give three cheers to Her Majesty.

10.40pm The Queen makes her way around the line, shaking people’s hands, followed by Prince Philip. Gaga comments to me how beautiful The Queen looks. She is right.

10.50pm The Queen is standing in front of me, shaking my hand. She has a genuine glow, a lovely smile, and seems to be beaming. She asks me if I flew in for the show. I say I have been here for a few months, but I am flying out first thing in the morning. She says “Is that so you can have a real Christmas?” Brilliant – she remembered my act!

10.54pm Prince Philip asks when I am flying home. He smiles broadly and jokes that I could smuggle a bottle of gin out of the country in my artificial foot. Brilliant.

11pm After finally meeting Bette Midler the Queen leaves the stage to a round of applause. Lady Gaga turns to me and says “They don’t stand when the Queen leaves the stage. That is a tough motherfucking crowd”. It is my favourite quote of the night.

11.30pm The official Royal Variety Supper begins. There is food, cabaret and dancing. I meet the guy that played the Italian officer in 90s TV show Allo Allo. Brilliant.

2.30am I make it back to my hotel in Manchester. I call my fiancée and my Mum and tell them about my night. I pack my bag and book a taxi for 6.30am to take me to the airport. In five days time we will film the Christmas episode of Spicks and Specks, with Peter Garrett and Jarvis Cocker.

4.50am Just finished writing my account of the day. As I read it back I ponder what an unusual life I have. Couldn’t be happier.


  • Little Em

    14.12.2009 at 08:33 Reply

    Really glad you enjoyed it, looking forward to seeing it as we need to see you on UK tv waaaay more!

  • Kirsten

    14.12.2009 at 08:43 Reply

    Prince Philip suggested smuggling a bottle of gin in your artificial foot??? God, I love this man – he is so hillarious.

    Glad you had a good time – saw a video clip on the bbc website with you shaking The Queen’s hand – were you as nervous as you looked? 😉

  • Talyah

    15.12.2009 at 09:30 Reply

    Adam, Mr. Hills, whatever regular people call you!

    I just picked you up for the first time after searching for Aussie accents because I met someone new who I really like from Australia and I’m an American. Anyways, some of your videos came up. I immediately forgot about the obsession with the accent and promptly spent all of my exam period studying you instead! You’re brilliant! In fact, I can prove how excited I am about this, because I have now used the words brilliant and promptly all in the same paragraph, which is either an English or Australian habit, but definitely not American one!

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE come do a show in NYC sometime, or at New Paltz University where I’m studying! And have a fantastic holiday!

    — Talyah

  • Liz

    19.12.2009 at 08:52 Reply

    Dick the Horse eats lots of Lollies!!

    Merry Christmas Adam! Hope you have a safe and happy Christmas in Aus! About to have my first Christmas in England – snowing already!

    – Liz xx

  • Alyssa

    19.12.2009 at 09:28 Reply

    In case you didn’t get it on twitter:

    Via @kmillerheidke

    What English sounds like to non-English speakers:

    Reminded me of your Swedish Chef and French sounds sketch.

  • Matt

    21.12.2009 at 12:28 Reply

    I came to ths blog for the first time ever after feeling a little confused by seeing this photo,

    NOW it makes sense…

  • Shane

    28.01.2010 at 17:23 Reply

    You have Woopi Goldberg’s email address? That is awesome!! You’ve become friends with one of those all time comedy legends mate! Even if she is a yank 😛

    I just found a photo of you, the queen and lady gaga in it and gotta say, its got 2 of my favorite celebrities and one i’m sorta “meh” about (i’ll leave you to figure out who each one is).

    I heard about the leg thing on the 7pm project and almost fell off my chair, thats unreal hahaha, But seriously… you’ve smuggled alcohol to say…. muck up day at school right? I mean, its like that security guard you mentioned just after 9/11- nobody’s gonna risk being seen frisking a “spastic” hahahaha.

    Nice to hear Gaga isn’t a total bitchy diva too, my respect for her has bounced back a fair bit (it almost went away entirely when i saw her tell Paris Hilton that stars are blind is one of her all time favorite albums) but i digress.

    I can’t wait to see you live some time in the future, you’re a living legend man- GO YOU BIG RED FIRE ENGINE!

  • Bernadette

    29.01.2010 at 16:01 Reply

    I tried to go to your gig last night at the Mic in Hand, but made a stupid mistake and got on the wrong tram. I was halfway down Nicholson St before I realised I was on the 96 not the 86, so I got off and had to wait 30min in the middle of the street for the next tram to come and take me back to the city. By the time I would have made it to the Vibe I would have missed your set, so I gave up and went home, but managed to miss my connecting tram by about 5 seconds, so had to wait about 15min for the next one. It was cold and windy, and I had a very sore hip that made walking a lot of fun. All in all, a brilliant night.

    So that leads me to the point of this post – will you be doing any more gigs over the next few weeks in Melbourne? Please say that you are – I need to be inflated!

Post a Reply to Little Em Cancel Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.