Whether Ed Sheeran would fulfill his “Saturday Night Live” booking this weekend was a matter of suspense for a lot of people — but not for Sheeran himself, who says that “I was always playing that,” no matter what anyone else expected.
He discussed his brief bout with the disease on SiriusXM’s “The Howard Stern Show,” establishing that it came and went during a short time frame but that he had “really, really, really bad symptoms” for about three days.
Of people’s surprise that he was back and ready for “SNL” action so quickly, Sheeran told Stern, “Yeah, I don’t know why there was a huge furor about that. Everyone was saying they were scrambling to find a replacement.” Sounding slightly offput that his appearance had ever been assumed to be up in the air, Sheeran affirmed: “I was always playing that. I tested for COVID and I announced it a couple days afterward because I had to cancel stuff, basically. But it’s quite an odd thing, getting that and then having to announce it to the world, and then suddenly… Like, I’m now out of it now, and I’m still sort of being treated…”
“Like you have it,” Stern said.
“Yeah. It’s kind of an uncomfortable… I really didn’t want to announce it to everyone,” Sheeran said, “but I had to cancel three big things in England, and I didn’t want to be rude and like ‘I just don’t want to turn up for this.’”
Sheeran had told the world that he had contracted COVID and would have to cancel some appearances on Oct. 24. But on Tuesday of this week, nine days after the initial announcement, he said he’d been “released from COVID isolation today, so if you see me out and about I’ve had the all-clear and done my quarantine.”
Sheeran, who affirmed he was vaccinated and had a breakthrough case, told Stern that he didn’t always feel worse while he was dealing with COVID because he was already “super ill and run down before. My daughter had got flu at play group, and I’d had that for like two weeks. This is just the times we live in. As soon as I got a cold, I just started testing every day — I want to make sure I don’t have it. But I was also getting up at 6 a.m. and starting Zoom interviews, and getting up at 3 a.m. and getting to Eurostar and going to Paris. I was really, really, really run down. And then one day I just caught it.”
He was in quarantine with his year-old daughter. “My wife, she was away. It was me and my daughter for a week, and she had it too, so it was kind of heavy. So three days of really, really bad symptoms, I think.”
Sheeran sang solo versions of “Shivers” and “Overpass Graffiti” during his remote appearance on Stern’s show.
His album, “=,” came out Oct. 29.