The Brit Awards has produced its fair share of unscripted television gold, but which moments of memorable madness from this once anarchic ceremony do we remember the most?
On one hand, the Brit Awards can be viewed as a celebration of all that’s great about the UK music scene. On the other hand, it can be seen as a stark warning of what can go wrong when you stuff a large room full of fragile egos, free booze and television cameras.
Although in recent years the Brit Awards has become far more sanitized, less outrageous and no where near as entertaining as it once was. People still switch on in the millions, because it remains the only awards show capable of producing the unexpected, the bizarre, and the downright ugly all in the space of time it takes Geri Halliwell to squeeze into a Union Jack dress or Jarvis Cocker to bear his butt to Michael Jackson.
Traditionally, the Brit Awards has excelled exquisitely in awkward moments, duff duets, awful amateurism, foul-mouthed outbursts and ungrateful pop stars acting like wanton brats. With this heady cocktail mind, let’s take a peek at the top ten moments from the Brit bash.
Robbie Williams challenges Liam Gallagher
The Millennium Brits was memorable for the number of pop stars who felt it necessary to preen and posture like born again hard men. Who didn’t nearly choke violently with laughter as doe-eyed Stoke songbird Robbie Williams challenged Liam Gallagher to a televised boxing match for £100,000? And how can we forget Ronnie Wood squaring up to Ibiza boy Brandon Block, like Dot Cotton on amphetamine before throwing his drink over him and getting his good mate Vinnie Jones to have a word.
Jarvis Cocker moons the King of Pop
When Pulp front-man Jarvis Cocker bum-rushed Michael Jackson on stage it turned him into an overnight celebrity. Apparently Jarvis felt compelled to wiggle his bony a** in the King of Pop’s face because of Jackson’s pomposity and alleged messiah complex, and not because he was drunk and wanted to steal some of the moonwalker’s limelight.
Oasis insults Michael Hutchence
Although Noel Gallagher was later to call his and brother Liam’s behavior at the 1996 Brits as “Ecstasy abuse on a massive scale” at the time, the basin-headed Oasis siblings looked like they were having the time of their life. Especially when a jovial Liam thanked INXS singer Michael Hutchence for his band’s award by snarling, “Has-beens shouldn’t present f**king awards to going-to-bes.” Whoops!
John Prescot gets Attacked
Pop star anarchists Chumbawamba landed themselves in hot water when they threw a bucket of ice water over deputy prime minister John Prescot. Luckily for Chumbawamba, they didn’t throw eggs at the former boxer because then they would have had another “unlikely hit” on their hands.
KLF shoot the audience
When KLF celebrated their award as best year’s band winners in 1992 by opening up on the audience with machine guns it could have been very nasty, but thankfully the playful pop pranksters were only firing blanks. They had initially hatched a plan to throw buckets of blood at the audience, but their lawyers advised against it. I wonder why?
The Education Secretary gets Booed
When Tory Education Secretary Kenneth Baker got booed whilst trying to make a speech in 1989, it may have been something to do with the fact that the cabinet minister was being portrayed week in, week out on Spitting Image as a fat, loathsome slug. What made the booing even funnier was when Cliff Richard got up and made a public apology to the MP on the public’s behalf.
Fleetwood and Fox
Ineptitude personified would be a kind way of describing Mick Fleetwood and Samantha Fox’s hosting of the show back in 1989. The chemistry between the giant hard rock drummer and diminutive page three girl could have caused a nuclear reaction. If only you could bottle the elusive magic that made Fleetwood and Fox’s first and last TV appearance together such a memorable one, we could all be Ant and Dec for the day.
Ginger Spice’s Union Jack dress
Before global fame beckoned and stylists were something they read about in fashion magazines, the Spice Girls took to the Brit stage in 1997 and showed just how badly five young girls could dress if given the opportunity. Ginger Spice’s Union Jack dress was truly horrendous, and Posh looked anything but.
Joss Stone Turns American
When Devon lass Joss Stone attended the 2007 event, a nation listened in mock-disbelief as she talked in a terrible and contrived American accent. When host Russell Brand later quipped, “I’m a bit worried about that poor cow.” We all nodded our heads sagely.
Adele’s one fingered salute
When you’re the biggest act to come out of Britain in many a moon, with the world at your feet and an eager audience hanging on your every word, you probably don’t expect to have your emotional acceptance speech for album of the year cut short by fat funny man James Corden. Yet, that’s exactly what happened to Adele, who reacted in true petulant diva style by flipping the middle finger. Not that anyone cared all that much, we were all too busy enjoying Blur launch into a classic rendition of Girls and Boys.
Madonna’s fall from grace
At a Brit award’s ceremony, which was slightly less exciting than ironing a difficult shirt or changing an awkward tire, Madonna’s embarrassing fall cheered the bored hordes and baying mob up no end.
Like an extra in a Lord of the Rings wizard’s convention or an Armani loving bullfighter, Madonna strutted onto the stage wearing a ridiculous long cape and hood ensemble. Yet, with fingers which appeared as nervous as a smoker trying to roll a cigarette after five days of cold turkey, Madonna didn’t appear to properly undo the complicated fastening which attached aforesaid clothing to her body. Consequently, when the dancers, who were incidentally dressed as devils, yanked at that there cloak, instead of revealing Madonna in all her 56 years of toned and fat free glory, she was unceremoniously dragged backwards with the cloak like a sack of moldy potatoes.
There was split second of hope where many thought that Madonna’s fall would bring a premature end to her unlistenable dirge but ever the professional, Madonna’s fall just appeared to make her stronger and she finished “Living For Love” with remarkable aplomb and the stiff, sort of awkward dance moves that have become her trademark.
Instead of finishing the song and making light of the incident by saying, “Ouch, that really hurt!” in the wake of the fall, Madonna chose to take to Instagram and explain that the Armani cloak, which already has its own Twitter account, was “tied too tight,” but that she was “fine.”
“Armani hooked me up! My beautiful cape was tied too tight! But nothing can stop me and love really lifted me up! Thanks for your good wishes! I’m fine!”
What banal atrocities and rehearsed spontaneity this year’s Brit Awards will boast is anybody’s guess, we’ll just have to wait until Wednesday, February 22 to find out.
[Featured Image by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images]