2018 is proving to be a pretty fantastic year for Ariana Grande fans — especially those in the UK. After her fourth album, Sweetener, reached number one on both the UK and U.S. charts, Grande's got another treat for her British supporters in the form of an hour-long BBC special. Ariana Grande at the BBC will feature live music from Sweetener, as well as a chat between the singer and host Davina McCall. So what else do we know about the Ariana Grande special coming to the BBC?
The BBC announced this morning that the live special will be recorded on September 7 at London's Television Centre, and will be broadcast on an as-yet unspecified date in the autumn. Alongside a chat with Davina McCall, Grande will perform music from Sweetener — and what's more, she'll be accompanied by an all-female orchestra.
McCall's just a little bit excited about the gig, telling the BBC, "Since I've been asked to do this show…I have been worried that someone is going to call up and tell me they've made a mistake and chosen the wrong presenter, because this seems just too good to be true." She added, "Ariana Grande is such an incredible talent. She's very funny and incredibly kind and has achieved so much already in her career. I'm really excited about talking to her and, of course, hearing some of her amazing music." Basically, McCall's an Arianator, too (honestly, at this point, who isn't?)
As the broadcaster notes, the special will be Grande's first performance on the BBC since her One Love Manchester concert in June 2017, held to raise money for the victims of the bombing at her Manchester Arena show. During her July cover interview, Grande told British Vogue that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after the attack, saying, "It's hard to talk about because so many people have suffered such severe, tremendous loss. But, yeah, it's a real thing."
She continued, "I know those families and my fans, and everyone there experienced a tremendous amount of it as well. Time is the biggest thing. I feel like I shouldn't even be talking about my own experience — like I shouldn't even say anything. I don't think I'll ever know how to talk about it and not cry."
The subsequent One Love Manchester concert and the fans who attended had a profound impact on Grande; she told Elle, "Why would I second-guess getting on a f**king stage and being there for them? That city, and their response? That changed my life." The concert raised over £10 million to support victims of the bombing, as Bustle reports.
Grande's just as beloved on this side of the Atlantic as she is in the States, as proven by the enormous success of latest album Sweetener. According to Official Charts, the album debuted at number one on the UK Official Albums Chart, as well as the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. She told the site, "Thank you so much! I'm so grateful! I can't tell you how appreciative I am. I can't wait to see you in September ;)." Was that a reference to the impending BBC special, which hadn't yet been announced?
As mentioned above, there isn't an official air date for Ariana Grande at the BBC, which follows previous specials by Adele, Harry Styles, Sam Smith, Michael Bublé. And it's probably too late to get tickets, too, with just a week until the show's recorded (I've contacted the BBC to double check, but haven't yet received a reply). The finished product's bound to be pretty spectacular, though — so Arianators, keep your bunny ears at the ready.