Four million tune in to watch Sir Paul McCartney headline Glastonbury

Nearly four million people tuned in to watch Sir Paul McCartney’s historic Glastonbury headline, with surprise guests Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen.

Saturday’s performance at Worthy Farm had a peak viewership of 3.9 million and an average audience of 2.6 million on BBC One, the broadcaster said.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the music festival told PA news agency that Sir Paul’s set at the Pyramid Stage drew “one of the biggest crowds we’ve ever had”.

Sir Paul McCartney on stage with Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen (MJ Kim/2022 MPL Communications/PA)

Actor and comedian Steve Coogan described watching Sir Paul’s set as “pretty overwhelming”.

Alan Partridge’s star Coogan, 56, was among thousands in the crowd Saturday night for Sir Paul’s performance, which at 80 has become the festival’s longest-running solo act.

Sir Paul performed Beatles and Wings songs in a set that lasted over two hours, and was joined on stage by Springsteen for Glory Days and I Wanna Be Your Man.

The electrifying show was further amplified when he introduced Grohl to the stage to sing I Saw Her Standing There and Band On The Run.

Glastonbury Festival 2022

It was Dave Grohl’s first performance on stage since the death of his bandmate Taylor Hawkins (MJ Kim/2022 MPL Communications/PA)

It was his first public performance since the death of his Foo Fighters bandmate, drummer Taylor Hawkins.

As the crowd sang Hey Jude in the background, Coogan told the BBC: “I don’t know what to say, it’s very impressive.

“I don’t think there’s anyone else in the world who can give people so much joy…very, very privileged to be able to see that.”

The Guardian’s review gave Sir Paul four stars out of five for his show, with The Telegraph honoring him with five stars and suggesting that Glastonbury may have to be renamed “Maccabury”.

The newspaper praised the musician for delivering “one of the most emotional, uplifting, bang-filled, star-studded sets this 50-plus-year-old festival has ever seen.”

The performance paid tribute to the Beatle’s near and dear ones, with Sir Paul dedicating a song to his wife of over a decade, Nancy, and former bandmate John Lennon, who was killed in 1980.

Using special technology that could isolate Lennon’s vocals from old recordings, Sir Paul was able to duet on the Beatles track I’ve Got A Feeling alongside his former bandmate as part of the encore.

Speaking at the venue after the show, fans were full of praise for Sir Paul.

Jake Richardson told the PA news agency: “I think I probably just saw one of the most legendary performances of all time.

“This is my first time at Glastonbury, I have never been before. I’m a big fan of the Beatles, I’m a big fan of Bruce Springsteen, I’m a big fan of the Foo Fighters, I got everything I wanted tonight.”

Despite most of Glastonbury’s performances being shown live on BBC iPlayer, Sir Paul’s show did not air on the network’s channels until an hour after the start of his set.

The BBC said it was not shown live due to the “complexity” of broadcasting an event of this scale and volume, adding that “there is sometimes variation between the performances that take place and their broadcast”.

On Friday night, Billie Eilish became the youngest solo act at the festival as she ascended the Pyramid Stage.

Speaking before her performance, she praised the impact the Beatles’ music had on her, telling NME: “The Beatles were what created me. My love of music I feel like 95% is due to the Beatles and Paul.”

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