Adele’s dad Mark Evans tells all – Penny Adkins remains stoic
THE knives are out for Adele. While the Daily Star leads with news of that alleged sex tape – the Mail leads with news of her estranged dad. When she accepted her six Grammy Awards, Adele thanked her mother, Penny Adkins, who had her when a teenager and raised her on her own.
Meanwhile, Adele’s dad, Mark Evans was “watching television in the sitting room of his small home on a housing estate in Bridgend, South Wales“.
Juxtaposed to the glamour of American awards do, Mark Evans’s location seeks to establish him as the loser. He then speaks:
“When she sings, it’s so beautiful, but it brings back too many memories. It’s too painful. There’s so much regret on my part — regret that I wasn’t a better father to her. I let her down badly, and I wish I could turn the clock back and do things differently.”
You can’t. But you can unburden yourself to the press.
Mark Evans lived with Adele and Penny Aktins until his daughter was 2. He then left.
For years, he says, he kept in touch with his daughter, even though, by his own admission, he offered little in the way of financial support. There were, however, summer holidays spent in a caravan in Tenby, South Wales, and days eating ice cream on the beach at Barry Island, Glamorgan where Mark helped his father, John, run a cafe at the pleasure park.
This is his story, one illustrated with photos of the young Adele. Mark Evans is to all purposes now defined by his daugther. Says he:
“There’s so much regret on my part – regret that I wasn’t a better father to her. I let her down badly.”
The Mail soon adds:
But the alcoholism which took over his life in the late Nineties, after his father died from bowel cancer at 57, all but destroyed his relationship with Adele.
Sympathetic back story established, Adele’s dad says:
“I hit the booze. I got wrapped up in myself. I wasn’t there for her. The alcohol affected my relationship with Adele. I regret it, and I always will.”
Or as Adele tells American Vogue:
“If I ever see him, I will spit in his face. He will never hear from me again.”
For Mark… Adele’s words cut like a knife.
“I can’t believe she said that. It’s devastating. I don’t know where it’s come from.”
We are being invited to guess, allowed inside Adele’s past to see her relationship with her mother grow and her father move away.
There are a few gems:
Mark recalls breaking the news to Penny’s father after a family lunch one Sunday. “He was surprised, but there were tears running down his face, which I took to be happiness.”
Having been noble enough to impregnate Penny, Mark seems to have lacked the vigour to ask her dad why he was crying. He feels it must be for joy.
“She (Penny) was happy to raise Adele on her own. I wanted our baby to have parents who were married. But Penny told me we were too young. She didn’t think I was ready to settle down.”
“We gradually drifted apart. I loved her with all my heart, and vice versa, but it just didn’t seem to work.”
Penny had prescience and foresight.
“Penny never wanted anything from me. Sometimes I did give her money, when I could.”
Penny had stoicism. She also had help from two aunts, Kim and Anita. Adele says her upbringing was “a kind of team effort”.
We then get an anecdote, wherein what the tabloids call ‘every parent’s worst nightmare’ is relived:
“She’d been on a trampoline. I’d gone to get us chips, and when I got back, my mum was hysterical. She was saying: ‘Adele’s gone, she’s gone.’ We were terrified someone had grabbed her.”
While police combed the beach, Mark eventually found her — looking at a boat they had taken a trip on the previous day.
He then explains not seeing her during the drinking phase:
“I was deeply ashamed of what I’d become. The kindest thing I could do for Adele was to make sure she never saw me in that state.”
And then the best bit: Adele’s talent she inherited from him and his:
“I believe Adele was born to sing. It’s in our blood. I was a choirboy, and my mum still sings in Penarth Baptist Choir, so perhaps she gets it from her.”
While Penny troiled and wiped runny noses, dad sprinkled fairy dust.
He recalls a meeting:
“We met up at Camden Market and we were sitting at a stall drinking tea. I started to tell her about what had happened to me, and she gave me this huge, kind smile. She put her arms around me and said: ‘It’s OK, Dad. I understand. I forgive you.'”
It’s touching stuff from man whose life is presented as a thing shaped and defined by external forces.
It’s open season on Adele.