Alison Hammond: I thought Dame Edna was real | ...and that Barry Humphries was her husband © ITV

Alison Hammond: I thought Dame Edna was real

...and that Barry Humphries was her husband

comedyIt’s a story that could be testament to Barry Humphries’s ability to so completely inhabit his alter-ego Dame Edna Everage… or it could just say something about TV host Alison Hammond…

But the This Morning presenter has revealed she thought Dame Edna was a real woman, and the comedian was her husband.

She made the gaffe when he appeared on the daytime programme in 2019.

In a forthcoming ITV tribute to Humprhries, Hammond confesses: ‘I know it sounds really stupid, I didn’t realise that Dame Edna wasn’t Dame Edna. I thought Dame Edna was Dame Edna, full stop.’

‘Does that sound really naive? I’m so sorry! So when someone went, "Alison, this is Barry Humphries", I was like, "Oh, nice to meet you. Are you, like, Dame Edna’s partner?"’ 

Mistaken identity was at the heart of another gag when Humphries made a return appearance on the show two years later – and deliberately confused Dermot O’Leary with Phillip Schofield, who had recently come out as gay.

He told O’Leary, with a completely straight face: ‘I want to congratulate you on your courage.’ 

The tribute programme also includes contributions from Jonathan Ross, Nick Cave, Lord Archer and Sharon Osbourne.

Humphries died in April at the age of 89, and a memorial event to celebrate his life was held at the Sydney Opera House last week.

  • Barry Humphries: The Last Laugh is on ITV1 on Christmas Day at 10pm.

Published: 21 Dec 2023

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