50 over 50 interviewees – Adele Anderson – Singer, Lyricist and Actress

  1. Tell us more about yourself. What do you do and how long you’ve been working in this industry?

I am a singer, a lyricist, an actress and erstwhile director. No one has ever said I was a dancer. I’ve been in the business for 36 years

  1. Who did you want to be when you were a kid?

I was mad about horses at the time, so I wanted to be an international show jumper. Later, I wanted to be an international cellist, a second Jacqueline du Pre. Alas, my ambition was far above my ability in both cases.

  1. What was your ‘punch in the stomach’ or when did you first realise that this is going to become your career?

As a transwoman, I acted for all of my early life, playing the part expected of me. But my punch came when I was in my first school play. The next year I played the lead. Both were comedies and I realised I had a talent for delivering comic lines

  1. What were the 3 biggest obstacles in pursuit of your career?
  • Convincing my father. He wanted me to go to Cambridge to read History and Music whilst I wanted to go to a drama school. We came to a compromise that I would study Drama and Theatre Art, but at a university.
  • Transitioning almost straight out of university. To qualify for surgery I had to have a regular job, so the theatre was out. Also, to be honest, at that time I was unemployable, either as an actor or as an actress.
  • Getting cancer. It interrupted my career for 3 years.


  1. Where do you find inspiration?

From my colleague in Fascinating Aida, Dillie Keane. She is the instigator and I’m the collaborator. With her, I can write wonderful songs. On my own, not so much.

In life, I was in the hospital with a wonderful woman who has been through so much and yet is still smiling. She really helped with my recovery.

  1. What challenges do you face in this industry as a ‘50+ artist’?

Luckily, Fascinating Aida, which makes up the bulk of my work, create their own work, so we can go on and on. As regards to television, I have had more television work since I turned 50 than I ever did before.

  1. What advice would you give someone who is about to start their career but is being told that it’s ‘too late’?

I didn’t enter the profession properly until I was 30. I’ve worked with plenty of actors who didn’t begin until they were in their 40s. You can begin anytime.

  1. Do you have any idols and if so, who and why?
  • I started out as a jazz singer, to qualify for my Equity Card. I studied and copied the best: Ella Fitzgerald.


  • But, if I had become the opera singer my father hoped for, I would want to sing like Joan Sutherland. Her coloratura positively thrills me.
  • Cole Porter. I studied his songs, in order to learn how to write them.
  1. What’s your life motto?

Could do better.

  1. You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why?

Purple. It’s a composite colour but the result is magnificent.

Catch Adele at one of her upcoming  ‘Gloomy Sunday’s’ in London. Tickets are out now for multiple dates in May!


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