Just under a month since the nominations were announced, tonight sees the annual knees-up for the British Record Industry with Coldplay and Duffy leading the way with four nominations a piece. But as we all know, the Brits is not really about who wins what – the night really belongs to who’s wearing what, who blurts out sweary words and who drinks far too much fizzy wine causing them to fall on top of host Kylie Minogue, snapping her in two. If you want to get involved, email your thoughts and we’ll try to mix them into our word blender…
Welcome one, welcome all to The Brits 2009 – the stage will soon be sagging under the weight of drunken pop stars waving shiny statues. Hurray! The action’s already kicked off, with the guests all in and currently sitting down to their Brits dinner. Tom Jones and The Ting Tings were the first acts to stroll down the red carpet, followed by Gok Wan, Gabriella Cilmi, Alesha Dixon, award-hopping Estelle and Alexandra Burke all tottering on super-high heels. We wonder if Gok was looking on and nodding approvingly? Justin Hawkins – him of The Darkness and now of Hot Leg – is sporting leather and Critics’ Choice winner Florence And The Machine has on a fetching gold jumpsuit.
6.34pm: Dinner has already begun and scurrying in late murmuring something about traffic are Lionel Richie, Scouting For Girls and Elbow. We’re assuming they didn’t all get the bus here together, but wouldn’t it have been great if they did? Scouting For Girls are up for three awards tonight, Elbow for two (or maybe three). Lionel isn’t up for any awards, but we reckon he’s up for a good time. He might even be dancing on the ceiling by the end of the night.
6.38pm: Man Utd are playing tonight too. Let’s hope Fulham beat them and Girls Aloud win Best British Single. Scouting For Girls – much as they were ever so polite when we interviewed them yesterday – must not win over The Promise. Surely rationality will win the day? Then again, Coldplay might win. Yes, yes, we understand that Viva La Vida is all grand with strings and everything but it hasn’t got its own dance has it? I’m going to have my dinner now – salmon, asparagus and broccolli since you ask. Aren’t I fancy and healthy? I’ll have some beer later, don’t worry.
7.04pm: Alex James has been spotted backstage. Do you think he was delivering his cheese for the dinner finale?
7.28pm: Alesha Dixon shoe watch – they’re pink and the heels are at least 10ft tall. OK, maybe 6ft.
7.40pm: James Corden and Matthew Horne are looking a bit scared. Kylie is nowhere to be seen. U2 are set to kick off proceedings with their grammatically challenged track Get On Your Boots and Take That have got “something special” planned. From what we understand it’s a bit space age and may or may not involve Robbie Williams. We hope they beam him onto stage – that’d be ace. Then usher him off quick-smart.
7.44pm: It’s nearly time! Who will win what? Will Duffy scoop any gongs? Will Coldplay win everything? Will Paul Weller win Best Male, thus causing bookies everywhere to weep? (By the way, Paul Weller? Really? Over James Morrison, The Streets and Will Young? We hope it’s not true.) Right, I’m off for a pre-show wee. My salmon was cooked to perfection in case you were wondering.
7.57pm: People are scowling at each other in the Rovers Return on ITV. Gail Tilsley doesn’t look any different does she? After ITV Sport’s woeful football howler the other week, can the channel be trusted to broadcast The Brits without any hiccups? “And the winner of Best Female is…” – cut to the Andrex Puppies scurrying around a garden. It’d be funny though, wouldn’t it?
8.00pm: And we’re off! This programme may contain flashing lights. Park your granny behind the sofa please. The flashing lights begin, then four old fellas wander on stage. One of them is Bono and he is singing about sexy boots. Oh dear. I mean, they’re a great band and all, but this isn’t their best song now is it? The graphics are fantastically swirly mind. Close-up on Bono’s stomach. Pan away please. And now he’s taken his glasses off to reveal a shedload of grey eye shadow. Lordy.
8.08pm: Kylie to save the day looking glorious in a shimmering cream number. James Corden and Matt Horne are her hilarious backing dancers in red satin and black boots. Brilliant. The crowd are loving it. This might just work you know. Simon Pegg wanders on looking like a geography teacher to present Best British Female. Close category this one: Adele, Duffy, Beth Rowley, Estelle and M.I.A. The tension! The winner is: Duffy! Woo hoo! Duffy goes up being all Welsh and that and thanks her mum for not having a boy. OK then.
8.15pm: Some ill-advised joking from James and Kylie. Maybe this won’t work after all – but we still love his red dress. On comes Lionel Richie still looking gorgeous after all these years. He’s presenting Best International Female. In the running are Beyonce, Katy Perry, Pink, Santogold and Gabriella Cilmi. Give it to them all we say! But perhaps Beyonce for that Single Ladies video. Hang on, it’s gone to Katy Perry. Kiss a girl and the awards will come, my friends. So long as you’re a girl in the first place we guess. She’s a bit croaky but is still sparkly – brave soldier.
8.17pm: Hurrah, Girls Aloud! Singing live behind pink feathers. They all sound a bit wobbly until Sarah belts out that bit about walking on Primrose and then Nicola rescues it all with her bit. The dancers are rather ugly – thank god the ladies are not. The feathers part to reveal – well, revealing outfits all round. Give these girls an award!
8.20pm: Ferne Cotton interviews Duffy backstage in a pretend caravan. She’s very squeaky isn’t she? We’re being invited to vote for our favourite single – vote Girls Aloud! Vote vote vote! Scouting For Girls must not win this? Are we all clear? Jolly good.
8.26pm: James and Matt are changed into their suits – Matt in blue suede shoes. We preferred the dresses. And as we predicted back at 7.04pm, Alex James appears with cheese and a yokel accent. He’s presenting Best British Breakthrough Act. Loads of people up for this – the winner is: Duffy. She beat Adele, The Ting Tings and some other people. She looks a bit embarrassed. My mum will be happy – she likes Duffy.
8.30pm: Where has Kylie gone? James and Matt are going solo right now. Next up it’s Coldplay in their French revolution garb being a bit earnest. Chris Martin still can’t hit those high notes can he? He can, however, wiggle his bum in time to music. I think that’s why he’s so successful – it can’t be his voice – it sounds like he’s singing in the bath. Underwater. With lots of Radox in it. The TV keeps freezing on Guy Garvey grinning like an eejit – naughty ITV. The ticker-tape reigns down and off they go.
8.35pm: Jamie Oliver and teeny-tiny Jamie Cullum are revving up to give out Best British Male with Ferne. Jamie O looks bemused; Jamie C is clearly receding, judging by his hastily brushed forward hair. Just let it go Jamie – we’ll still love you.
8.39pm: Man Utd are one-nil up. Come on Fulham! Sarah from London has emailed to say stop slagging off Bono. I can’t help it Sarah, the man just invites it doesn’t he?
8.40pm: Kylie’s changed into a sultry short purple number. She’s also got a great hair flick. Matt tries some horseplay – still not working. On comes Natalie Imbruglia to present Best International Group – she’s still alive! Hurrah for Natalie. Who will win? MGMT? Fleet Foxes? Kings Of Leon? AC/DC? The Killers? I’d put my house on Kings Of Leon. The winner is: Kings Of Leon! God I’m good. They come to the stage and all look terribly smart. They thank god and their mums. What has happened to rock n roll?
8.45pm: The two Jamies appear. Jamie Oliver looks terribly trim. Best British Male is what they’re giving out. James Morrison, Will Young, Paul Weller (nudge nudge), Ian Brown and The Streets. Who will it be? The winner is: Paul Weller. We see a video of Adele presenting the Brit to Paul in a pub. Paul Weller? Again, really?
8.48pm: The biggest-selling artist of last year takes to the stage to sing Warwick Avenue. She’s changed into a coral dress, but the spotlight is a bit too low for her and she’s plunged into darkness for the first half of the song. Can they fix it? Doubtful. Duffy struggles on, screeching somewhat but styles it out. She still looks very uncomfortable though doesn’t she?
8.53pm: Have you voted for Girls Aloud yet? What? Your mum’s on the phone? Well sling her off it! GA need you.
8.54pm: So what do we think so far? Far better than last year’s Osbourne-fuelled fiasco and the performances have been above average too. Kylie looks gorgeous and Matt and James are proving capable hosts. What we need though is a Jarvis Cocker moment. Anyone?
8.58pm: Joe Calzaghe strides on – does the man do anything else? – to present Best International Album. The Welsh are taking over! All the people up for Best International Group are also up for Best International Album – yawn. The countdown till Kings Of Leon take the stage is on. 3… 2… 1… Up they come, a flurry of hair. They thank England – we created them apparently. Forgive us father, we knew not what we did. Stop thanking your mum boys!
9.02pm: Take That descend with slicked down hair, glasses and lasers-a-go-go. It’s like four supermen singing Greatest Day. This is by far the most polished performance of the night so far – they’re sending a shiver down my spine. We’re sure this is fulfilling Gary’s boyhood dreams of being Clark Kent too. The crowd roar as they ascend back up to where they came. Gotta love it.
9.07pm: On comes Nick Frost, Mr Pegg’s partner in crime. He tells us he doesn’t like live music, but he’s presenting Best Live Act. Up for it are Coldplay, The Verve, Scouting For Girls, Elbow and Iron Maiden. Who shall collect the gong? The winner is: Iron Maiden. Hurrah! They’re not there though – they’re on tour playing live you see. Apparently they’re ever so good.
9.10pm: Matt and James do a bit of interplay. The Hoff comes on through a flowery tent and his chest is still HUGE, his hair is slick. This man knows grooming. He’s here to present Best British Group. The nominees are Radiohead, Girls Aloud (come on!), Take That, Coldplay and Elbow. The Hoff says: Elbow. Bit leftfield that choice, but thoroughly deserved – Elbow had the best British album of last year so the trophy is rightfully theirs. Guy Garvey is just pleased to be on stage with David Hasselhoff – and he doesn’t even look too dishevelled.
9.15pm: James and Matt introduce Kings Of Leon (bring back Kylie!) who shuffle on to sing Use Somebody. The bassist howls at the moon, but this is another slick performance by the Southern Belles – it sounds just like the record and everything. The camera just panned round to Cheryl and Ashley Cole – looks like trouble at mill. Or perhaps Ashley has just heard that Man Utd are 2-0 up.
9.20pm: The Hoff tells Ferne he’s having a blast. Guy Garvey asks him if he’ll join them for a drink later – Guy’s clearly not seen The Hoff’s drunken rant on YouTube then. The Hoff politely declines and Ferne looks a bit embarrassed. Ah, we love The Brits.
9.21pm: Richard from Reading says The Brits are OK, but they’ve got nothing on the Country Music Awards. Well, Kings Of Leon are from Nashville Richard and they’ve just won two awards so that’s close enough isn’t it? I’m with you though – where were Rascal Flatts in the Best International Group? It’s a ruddy scandal.
9.24pm: Kylie’s changed again – still shimmery mind. Next up is the Critics’ Choice Winner, Florence And The Machine. She wanders on in a gold catsuit, towering over teeny-tiny Minogue. The audio gets muted – did she say a naughty word? Our Flo looks dreadfully grateful – she thanks lots of people and then tells us she’s off to get drunk. Good lass.
9.27pm: Gok comes on looking a bit naked – see what he did there? Best International Male is between Seasick Steve, Kanye West, Beck, Jay-Z and Neil Diamond. Give it to Neil, give it to Neil! The winner is: Kanye West. He’s not there though, rude boy. All he does is moan about not getting awards, then when we give him one he doesn’t turn up! Take it off him – ungrateful young man.
9.29pm: The Ting Tings! We love the Ting Tings! She looks like a proper pop star and everything – a bit dirty, a bit luminous. And then Estelle comes on in some leggins and a shiny jacket and sings American Boy over their tune. It’s sounds a bit messy, it sounds a bit wrong, it sounds a bit… Brits. “Let’s go on the Subwaaaaay…” Katie does backing vocals, then the pair break into That’s Not My Name. We’re a bit stunned. What about you?
9.34pm: Kylie’s in green now – she’s changed more than she’s spoken tonight. Alan Carr comes out to Britney’s Womanizer and asks who wants to see him naked – love Alan, even if he is looking a bit orange. He’s presenting Best British Single. There are some other people nominated and Girls Aloud. Who’s it gonna be? Girls Aloud! Get in! Cheryl looks like she might be sick. I like to think that’s all down to me and my prompting – well done everyone! That Sarah’s trouble though isn’t she?
9.38pm: The Welsh Music Awards carries on apace with Tom Jones. He looks a bit orange too – or is it my telly? My sister Ann’s a big fan though – hello sister Ann! He’s presenting Best British Album – Coldplay, Duffy, Elbow and some other people. The winner is: Duffy. Now that is a shock – I’d have plumped for Elbow. Duffy’s rivalling Kylie with her dress changes now though – she likes them short. It’s a Welsh summit on the podium with Tom and Duffy. The Duffster is moved to tears for this one – and so she should be. All of which means Coldplay have won nothing. Is it just us or is that funny? No, it’s funny…
9.45pm: We’re on the home stretch now, with the Pet Shop Boys coming on soon to receive their Congratulations You’re Not Dead! Award. Persistent pop performers they, it should be a cracker. Man Utd are 3-0 up football fans – boring. Kylie’s back in red, then Brandon Flowers comes on with his customary shoulder feathers and cries about how much he loves the Pet Shop Boys. They are great though aren’t they? OK Brandon, shut up now love.
9.49pm: They never really leave enough time for this bit do they? Here are Neil and Chris, shoehorned into the last ten minutes. Cometh the feathers, cometh the men – or should that be boys? Neil looks like a bondage Tudor prince, Chris is rocking the Hilda Ogden look. They’re doing a Pet Shop Boys megamix – think Jive Bunny, but with less bunnies. So far.
9.53pm: Richard from Reading has just emailed to ask what I think of Forest’s chances against Reading in two weeks time? I think you’ve come to the wrong blog Richard – but for the record, I think you’ll get tanked. All I want is a team of Kevin Doyles, right?
9.56pm: Lady GaGa arrives to chirrup in her two-penneth. It wasn’t really necessary was it? The Pet Shop Boys are great though. Now Brandon Flowers is getting in on the act, opening It’s A Sin. He looks terribly young and fresh-faced tonight doesn’t he? Who knew that was all there underneath his ill-advised facial hair of 2007.
9.59pm: They finish on West End Girls. The crowd goes wild. People jiggle. Who won though? We think it was the Pet Shop Boys. The lights go down and it’s all over. For the record, that’s Duffy 3-Coldplay 0. Thanks for tuning in and especially if you emailed. I’m off for a beer – see you next time.