Sir Cliff Richard is one of the UK’s most loved singers. An entertainer in the business for more than 60 years, he now joins the virtual bill at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall for their Royal Albert Home streaming series.

Cliff Richard has sold over 250 million records, enjoyed audiences spanning generations and performed some of the most iconic songs of the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond. The word legend is accused of being thrown around too much these days, but it’s fair to say he fits the bill.

Billed as a stream featuring stories and performances from his home in Barbados, Sir Cliff does indeed delight with tales that only he could pull off, name dropping the likes of Dionne Warwick without even a blush. 

His happy-go-lucky charm is impossible not to be taken with. 

Fans of Sir Cliff know that he is a natural entertainer. During his October 2018 tour, his voice was as strong as ever – even at 78. So what better way to pass some time during lockdown than to listen to the man himself sing his biggest hits.

Except he doesn’t.

The 79-year-old opts to mime every one of the four-strong setlist. The bubble is immediately burst and rather than an exciting intimate set with the man himself, we are instead offered Sir Cliff Richard dad dancing along to his own songs.

‘Devil Woman’ – a career-changing hit from 1976 – is turned into a creepy tour of his hallways. Once a massive crowd-pleasing finale to his live shows, ‘We Don’t Talk Anymore’ loses its charm as long musical interludes are painful to watch the near-octogenarian pass the slow seconds.

With a voice that is still impressive when live, it’s an understatement to say the decision to mime is disappointing. 

It completely removes any entertainment value from the set. Although short – running at only 20 minutes – it’s impossible not to feel a bit aggrieved.

If this was the promo to sell his October gig at the venue, it didn’t work. Sir Cliff hopes the planned gig will go ahead, but does caveat that none of us know what’s happening in the middle of the pandemic.

As a fundraiser for the venue, of which they recommend donating £10 to stream the event, it seems pretty tough to justify beyond the obvious concern for those who face uncertainty in this crisis.

It’s clear that taking time out of his schedule was a big deal for Sir Cliff. Sadly, this fan wishes they’d just waited for the tour.

Cliff Richard: Royal Albert Home can be viewed on the Royal Albert Hall website, or on YouTube.

Set List

Move It

Devil Woman

Ocean Deep

We Don’t Talk Anymore