Tonight was the 30th BRIT Awards ceremony at Earls Court and as a somewhat-proud Brit I was totally ashamed at what I saw. For those unfamiliar, The BRIT Awards is just like the Grammys or MTV Awards with similar production values and glamour, but has been organised by the local parish council.
It is meant to showcase British music talent, but has less professionalism than a recent village barn dance I went to. All the good things about the night were not British (Lady GaGa, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys), with the possible exception of Florence and the Machine, Kasabian (who host Peter Kay described as “Leicester’s answer to Aswad”) and a nostalgic Robbie Williams medley at the end.
Peter Kay, who I love but was not at his best, joked at the beginning of the night that the BRITs was “20mins of entertainment stretched over 2 hours”. He was not wrong.
The award presenters were shockingly unrehearsed and every time a presenter tried to be funny or cool, it was just cringe-worthy. Liam Gallagher showed that not all nobends mellow with age. Sam Fox appeared, but without Mick Fleetwood (her partner in the most catastrophic BRIT Awards ever in 1989) it was not nostalgic or ironic, it was just shit. The less said about Gerri Halliwell and Mel B the better. Even the reliable awards show regular Jonathan Ross wore a misjudged silly outfit that made no one laugh.
For some reason, portable microphones were used which I guess allows presenters and award winners to move around more, but often they were carried off stage and had to be clumsily returned. Jonathan Ross was guilty of this and Lady Gaga was not able to give her acceptance speech until he gave it back and jumped off stage in embarrassment.
The British Award winners were inexcusably pathetic and inarticulate. Dizzee Rascal wittered away like he was a 14 year old who’d been given permission to stay up late and had had one too many sips of his mum’s sherry. In contrast Jay-Z was a consummate professional who was grateful, funny and clearly has stayed up late before.
The layout of the awards ceremony is that there is a big audience at the front and the music industry and award winners behind drinking at their tables. This means each winner spends about 2 minutes walking up to the stage. As they got closer to the stage many of them would do that quick shuffle that people do when trying to give the impression of running for a bus but not really putting in much effort. Winners were not ushered off the stage and so many did not know which way to go.
Lily Allen accepted her award like a giggling idiot and claimed she was wearing the preposterous bright orange wig she was wearing so that it would be harder for the TV cameras to spot her in the crowd. I understand that all Mi6 undercover operatives use them.
The British performances were really quite poor, with Cheryl Cole winning the award for worst miming on the night. However, as she was the only performer not to win an award maybe she didn’t think it was worth making an effort? Every BRIT Award was won by someone performing at the event, it was if they knew?
“Jake, are you trying to say the BRIT Awards are a sham?”
The funniest thing that happened was when I tweeted, in an erudite outburst, that ‘the BRITS is like proper w@nk’. I spelt wank with an @ to save the impressionable twitter world of my rudeness. However, my good friend Adam pointed out that I had inadvertently used (@nk) Nick Kallen’s name in vain. I don’t know who Nick Kallen is you see, but have a feeling he probably gets a lot of tweets accidentally mentioning him.
So not really that funny then, but was still the funniest thing that happened.
The 30th anniversary show was not a finely tuned, slick music extravaganza that had absorbed the learning and experience of the 29 events that had preceded it. It was another reminder of all the other rubbish BRIT Awards events that had taken place before.
I really hope that other countries do not ever get to see it.