Matt Doran’s sit-down interview with Adele in London was always guaranteed to make headlines for the Seven network.
The only problem is the incredible worldwide publicity has been for all the wrong reasons.
Doran and Seven are in damage control after Sony withheld the footage when the blue-eyed Weekend Sunrise co-host admitted he had not listened to Adele’s new album.
Now Seven insiders are spilling the beans on what really happened in the lead up to Doran’s car crash interview that offended the world’s biggest pop star.
High-ranking sources within the network are said to be ‘fuming’ over the Doran debacle with several now claiming he was not even amongst the first four choices for the coveted gig.
Seven and Matt Doran (above) are in damage control as its revealed Sonia Kruger was the first choice to travel to London for the interview but had to pass due to a number of factors
Arguably the world’s biggest star Adele was unimpressed when Doran had not listened to her new album
Nat Barr (with Doran) was allegedly on a short list too for the big interview, which did not air after Sony pulled the footage
It’s understood network favourite Sonia Kruger was the first choice for the job, however her Big Brother VIP hosting schedule – as well as Covid concerns – meant the mum-of-one had to pass.
Veteran journo Michael Usher was then also considered but scheduling conflicts ruled him out.
Sunrise host Nat Barr and ‘free agent’ Mel Doyle were also believed to have been considered before the gig was handed to Doran.
The interview was due to air alongside Adele’s exclusive One Night Only performance on Seven on Sunday, with the total package reportedly costing the network almost $1 million.
‘There were concerns about Matt from the beginning…that he didn’t have the experience to handle something of this scale,’ a Seven source told Daily Mail Australia.
‘There were also a few of us who thought Matt was chosen purely as a tactic to create some chemistry with Adele…which obviously backfired.’
What followed has now become an international punchline after Doran was forced to apologise after he admitted he hadn’t listened to Adele’s new album 30 prior to sitting down with the singer on November 4.
Doran claims he ‘missed’ an email link sent from a Sony employee which had an audio copy of the album prior to arriving in London.
Matt Doran with his producer and camera operator in London prior to the ill-fated interview
Doran, pictured with his fiancee, says he missed an email link to Adele’s new album
“It was an oversight but not a deliberate snub,” he told The Australian on Monday.
“This is the most important email I have ever missed.”
Despite the expense, Seven was forced to scrap the interview after Sony refused to hand over the footage.
‘No one here has even seen it,” a Seven staffer told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Nothing to air’.
Now rumours out of Seven’s Eveleigh headquarters are claiming the interview was even worse than initially reported and that Adele – fresh from the release of her first album in six years – ‘didn’t click’ with Doran from the start.
‘For Sony to pull the footage sends a pretty clear message about how their biggest star felt about the situation,’ said a network insider.
‘The word is that the idea was to create a spark between the handsome young reporter and the newly single singer but someone of her calibre is far too smart for that kind of set-up.’
‘Free agent’ Mel Doyle was also a preferred choice for the Adele interview by some at Seven, even though she has been doing some voiceover work for rival Nine
Meanwhile well-respected industry veteran David Champion, who has worked in artist management for four decades including 15 years at Sony, says Doran’s failure to listen to Adele’s album prior to the industry is ‘inexcusable’.
‘On a scale of one to WTF…it’s extraordinary,” Champion said.
‘This idea that he forgot to click a link in his email is ridiculous and offensive to anyone who has ever worked in the industry.
‘Listening to the album is the most basic of pre-interview requirements and anyone who has ever worked at this level would know that.”
Champion also believes Sony needs to shoulder some of the blame for the now-infamous ‘car crash’ interview.
‘Why wasn’t there someone at their end who put in a call to Matt on the morning of the interview and asked him what he thought of the album’, he said.
‘If he hadn’t listened to it at that point, someone should have insisted that he be pulled aside for 45 minutes and made to listen to all 12 tracks.
‘Walking into an interview without hearing the album is beyond unprofessional. It’s offensive to the artist and her entire team.’
Seven’s director of news and current affairs Craig McPherson was contacted for comment by Daily Mail Australia.
Meanwhile it’s understood Doran has returned to normal Weekend Sunrise hosting duties and, having served a two-week suspension, will not be reprimanded any further over the incident.