Brit Awards 2011 – As It Happened!

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We couldn’t be more excited about this year’s Brit Awards, mainly because we’re going to be there to bring you all the latest from the red carpet and a live blog of the evening’s proceedings from the O2 Arena. Will Tinie Tempah scoop the lot? Will Jessie J wear those funny tights again? And just how many bottles of champagne will be drunk before the first celeb falls over or punches host James Corden? This and so much more will be revealed by us over the course of the evening – frankly, it’s gonna be ruddy brilliant. So join us tonight for our live blog of the 2011 Brit Awards – I’ll be typing furiously from the media room where I’ve been told there are free light refreshments and all the tea you can drink. It doesn’t get more rock n roll than that! Join me from 7pm tonight…

So here we are at the decidedly grey O2 Arena, teeming with drizzle and the odd pop star, all trying to look desperately disinterested in tonight’s proceedings but all secretly DYING to win. Take That? They’d love it. Ellie Goulding? She might cry. Olly Murs? He might die of shock – but then again, so would we if he actually won an award. He’s up for Best British Single, but is Please Don’t Let Me Go truly better than Tinie Tempah’s Pass Out? Is it? Hmmm? If it wins I’m blaming you, Capital listeners and users of iTunes…

But anyway, what can we expect from this evening? Stand by for performances from Arcade Fire, Cee Lo Green, Mumford & Sons, Adele, Take That, Plan B, Tinie Tempah and Rihanna. And remember, Rihanna has to live up to GaGa turning up to the Grammys in an egg, so what might she appear in tonight? A pickle? A jar of mustard? Wedged into a salmon & cream cheese bagel? Here in the press room the bar is open and I’ve had a chicken & roasted tomato sandwich – this is where the magic happens! We’ll also be keeping an eye on the not inconsequential matter of Spurs vs AC Milan, happening at the San Siro minus Gareth Bale. 4-1 to Spurs I predict. But here, the red carpet is rolling and the countdown begins. 54 minutes and counting!

45 Mins To Go: They’re eating their dinner in the main hall. Who knows what it is but I’d guess at melon balls and parma ham followed by chicken. Then perhaps gateaux. Everyone likes gateaux. Let’s face it, being at the Brits dinner is like being at a wedding and you’ll probably get sat by the music industry equivalent of Uncle Alan, droning on about piracy and how the business is going down the tubes. This is when you top up your glass, squeeze your eyes tight shut and will Take That to come on stage – for they are the show openers, fact fans.

30 Mins To Go: I just went to the loo and passed the massed throngs. It’s definitely gateaux. In other news, Rihanna is not dressed as a pickle, more’s the pity. And I’m sure I just saw Nicola from Girls Aloud pondering a Gourmet Burger Kitchen on the way in. Nah, couldn’t have been…

20 Mins To Go: I have a beer. It’s warm, but it’s free. Hurrah!

8 Mins To Go: People are screaming. I think it’s because Heidi from the SugaBabes has just come in. Understandable.

3 Mins To Go: The Brits announcer is getting frantic. Could everyone sit down please or I think she might implode.

And we’re off! It’s Take That! Singing Kidz! With lots of riot shields and that. The O2 is very cold tonight so they’ll be glad they’re wearing those nice big coats. This is that performance they were meant to do on the X Factor but couldn’t after the naughty kids and the riot police incident in London Town. Mark has had his hair cut circa 1995. He’s even got a rats tail. Surely that’s a mistake. Robbie is being surprisingly un-centre stage. What’s that about then?

5 Mins: James Corden is on-stage reading from an autocue in a robotic manner. I wish he’d disappear. Oh look though, here’s Dizzee, we like him. He wants us to make some noise. Woooooooah! Best British Male is up first – there are some people including Paul Weller. The winner is: Plan B! Apparently he’s the male Amy Winehouse according to Elton John – not sure he’s going to be keen on that description – although after that speech, he’s about as articulate. For our money, Tinie Tempah shoulda won that.

12 Mins: We’re back! Adele is on-stage performing Someone Like You. Question: why is Adele not in the running for Best British Female and Cheryl Cole is? If anyone knows, do let me know. Adele is going old-school style today and sounding as husky and gorgeous as ever. If you haven’t bought 21 yet, do hurry up, chop chop. Glitter is coming down on Adele – honestly, I thought the music industry had no money!

19 Mins: This year, the new and improved Brit Awards is not only about entertaining – it’s also about education. So pull your chair up close to the TV and stop talking at the back as we learn about how to make an album, OK? First up: how to do fiddly-dee with Mumford & Sons.

21 Mins: Justin Bieber’s had his hair cut and is excited. James Corden is sniffing him. Oh dear.

22 Mins: Next up – Best British Breakthrough and Fearne Cotton is tottering down the stage to present it. Voted for by Radio 1 listeners so don’t expect too much here. Our vote would go to The XX but who will they pick? Could it be Tinie Tempah? Yes! Here’s Tinie and Fearne’s hugging him, asking him to be her friend. Step away Fearne. Tinie thanks god and his mum. What a lovely boy he is. But is it just me yearning for something a little more rock n roll?

25 Mins: Boris Becker is on to present Best International Album. He sounds uber-German. Who vill it be, Boris? We’re not ashamed to say we heart Katy Perry, but Arcade Fire take it. However, do they have a song to rival Peacock? We think not. They’re not as purdy either. Oh lord, they’re thanking Pink Floyd. Next!

28 Mins: Rihanna wants us to love her through a string curtain like my mum used to have on her kitchen. Ahead of her time, my mum. Rihanna’s singing a mash-up here, so expect some slinky segueing (if that’s how you spell it). Oh-la-la, what’s her name? Interesting cavorting near the piano by Rihanna there – was that a choreographed dance move or something she just made up in her head do you think?

35 Mins: While we go to the break, the news from the San Siro is that Van der Vaart is yet to score the opener. Come on Rafa, look lively! Crucially though, AC haven’t either. The crowd are strangely quiet in the break. A second round of the dessert trolley would have been a nice touch me thinks.

40 Mins: Critics Choice award – it’s gone to Jessie J who can do it like a dude, no bother. She hasn’t planned a speech, even though she’s known about this for 3 months. Forward planning not her strong point then. Ellie Goulding presents the award and screeches it like she’s her bessie mate. Jessie looks a bit awkward. Education bit mkII: Tinie Tempah tells us how to make an album.

45 Mins: Mumford & Sons have sold a squillion albums worldwide (approx). They’re performing Timshel, dressed like extras from Worzel Gummage. Brave choice. The song and the clothes.

48 Mins: Corden goes like this: “blah blah blah.” Lewis ‘Lips’ Hamilton is on to present Best International Male to Kanye West. What? Well it’s not going to be Bruce Springsteen now is it? No, I’m wrong – it’s gone to Cee-Lo Green – couldn’t be more deserved. He looks well chuffed and is wearing a black chiffon flower. Nice touch.

52 Mins: It’s very eerie here when we go to a break, did I mention that?

55 Mins: Alan Carr is mincing down the stage in brown velour. Best British Single is up now. If Olly Murs wins I’ll buy a hat and eat it. I would eat my own hat, but I wear it see. The winner is: Tinie Tempah – Pass Out. Also RealMusic Blog’s No.2 single of the year. Well done us and Tinie. Tinie doesn’t want to accept without his mate Labrinth. There’s an awkward pause of around 2 years and 9 months. Eventually Tinie makes a speech about his mate Labrinth.

59 Mins: Simon Le Bon and John Taylor come on dressed as Take That, only in ten years time. Best International Group is next. Who will win? Will it be Arcade Fire again or will they give something to someone else? Nope, it’s the dreary Canadians again. I mean don’t get me wrong, they make great tunes but don’t hire them for an after-dinner speech, OK?

64 Mins: Ben Drew aka Plan B is doing a mash-up-medley-call-it-what-you-may of his hits. Oh, people are pretending to have a fight. How terribly thrilling. Has there ever been so many riot police on the Brits stage? Is this a sign of Cameron’s new big society? I see an essay question in there somewhere.

67 Mins: People are booing. Bit odd. There’s a man with Marourane Fellaini hair behind Corden. Is it the great man himself? The XX are on the screens being all shy and shuffly.

69 Mins: James Corden thinks he’s Jools Holland. He is not. I need a wee. Going to make a dash for it.

75 Mins: Corden makes a smashin’ it joke. And looks suitably embarrassed. International Breakthrough Act is next, presented by Will Young and Avril Lavigne. Will Young tells us he could be his mum or his dad. Justin Bieber wins! He thanks his fans – well, his “guys” at least – it’s like he’s never accepted an award before. Thanks Michael and Matthew!

78 Mins: Boy George is on hiding under a big hat – hurrah! We heart Boy! Best British Female (Sans Adele. Why? Why? Why?). And the winner is: Laura Marling. Laura is a bit shy. She doesn’t thank Michael. Adele sits chewing gum and wonders why she wasn’t on the list.

83 Mins: Arcade Fire are the best group from not here. They have a laydee drummer who bangs the drums like Animal. We approve.

85 Mins: Mark Ronson has come as a skunk. Take That are mentioned and EVERYONE screams. Surely they must win something tonight eh?

88 Mins: SPURS HAVE SCORED! COME ON PETER CROUCH!

93 Mins: Best International Female is being presented by Why-Aye Cheryl. Clip-clop, clip-clop she goes as she sashays out. Her hair is v shiny and that is because she is worth it, fact fans. This is a truly strong category – Rihanna, Katy, Kylie, Robyn or Alicia? Oh gawd, I dunno. Can we give them all one? The winner is: Rihanna. “My girl crush,” says Cheryl. This is her first Brit apparently – she’s had an amazing year though. She’s changed into a flowery bedspread for the occasion.

96 Mins: Tinie is on for a career-defining performance, according to musical mastermind Corden. There are lots of strobes and it’s hurting my eyes. Do not adjust your sets. At least Tinie has found Labrinth for this performance. He might have cried otherwise.

102 Mins: Dermot O’Leary is on to present Best British Group. Seeing as this was voted for by Radio 2 listeners, this is surely Take That’s big moment. Get ready for Robbie to make a spectacle of himself. The winner is: Take That! Gary is terribly chequered. Huge cheers for the boys. “Thanks so much,” says Gary in his Manc drawl. Mark is wrapped in a curtain.

110 Mins: Plan B tells us he wrote his whole album himself on the back of a cereal box. “I’m doing amazing,” he says. “I did done it. I’m buzzin’.” It was something like that anyway.

113 Mins: Seeing as they scrapped the Lifetime Achievement this year after they gave it to Robbie last year, the last award of the night is the Mastercard Album Of The Year presented by Roger Daltry. Who? Boom! Boom! So who will take it home to bed with them this evening? Mumford? Plan B? Take That? Tinie? The XX? Difficult one to call this – I reckon it’s a toss up between Take That and Plan B. If it’s Take That, do you think Robbie will challenge Liam to another fight? And the winner is: Mumford & Sons! Well I did not see that one coming, but I’m pleased all the same – it’s a storming album and one up for the fiddles. I think they’re a bit shocked. They’re extremely thankful and Corden rushes them off the stage. How rude.

117 Mins: Cee-Lo Green proves he can hit those high notes and the whole place is up and dancing. Well, the row to the right of me are at least. That’s it for this year. Thanks for your company – I’m off to the bar. Till next year… And come on you Spurs!

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