Brit Awards 2021: From Geri to Jarvis
Written by Hitmix News on 11 May 2021
Ah, the Brits. There’s no denying they’re a lot slicker, a lot tamer now than they were in their ’80s and ’90s heyday.
Will we ever see another stage invasion, a politician getting a soaking, or one of the country’s biggest stars offering another out for a fight? Probably not.
As this year’s Brit Awards takes place tonight, here’s a look back at some of the biggest shocks and most outrageous moments in the ceremony’s history.
Image: Poor Rick Astley. Winner of 1998’s best song for Never Gonna Give You Up, he had a long route to the stage and the show was over-running – so he was cut for The Who’s comeback performance. Never gonna say goodbye – or thank you for this award, either Image: Mick Fleetwood and Samantha Fox’s hosting duties in 1989 have gone down in Brit Awards folklore. Height difference aside, the disastrous appearance also involved a broken autocue and lots of mix-ups. They weren’t invited back Image: At the same show, Erasure’s Andy Bell’s peck on the cheek for Boy George drew a big cheer from the crowd. He later said it was in protest against Section 28, introduced the previous year, which prevented the “promotion” of homosexuality in schools Image: The KLF brought anarchy to the Brits in 1992, machine-gunning the crowd with blanks. Frontman Bill Drummond was stopped from throwing out sheep’s blood – and also, apparently, from cutting off his own hand live on TV. Pic: Richard Young/Shutterstock Image: Unsurprisingly, Oasis crop up a fair bit when it comes to Brits controversy. Here they are in 1996, when Noel Gallagher called INXS’s Michael Hutchence a has-been on stage, after accepting the prize for best video. Pic: Alan Davidson/Shutterstock Image: Cool Britannia was alive and kicking, which meant then future PM Tony Blair got to present a prize – to David Bowie, for outstanding contribution to music. Things can only get better, eh? Pic: JM Enternational/Shutterstock Image: But it was Michael Jackson’s Earth Song performance that year that still remains one of the show’s biggest controversies – thanks to Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, who, disgusted by the “Jesus act”, invaded the stage and waggled his bum in protest Image: After being arrested and questioned over his antics, Cocker was later told he would not be prosecuted. The news was announced at a media conference – and Cocker cemented himself as something of a Brits hero Image: The Brit Awards 1997 were all about the Spice Girls, with Geri Halliwell’s made-from-a-tea-towel union jack dress still one of the most talked about moments in the awards’ history. Pic: Alan Davidson/Shutterstock Image: But don’t forget the glittery, red strapless number she later changed into, which also made headlines thanks to a now infamous wardrobe malfunction as the girls went up to collect one of two prizes on the night. Pic: Alan Davidson/Shutterstock Image: In 1998, it fell to Tubthumping Chumbawumba to cause the upset. This came in the form of dousing MP John Prescott with iced water, for his “vain attempt to make Labour seem cool and trendy” Image: In 2000, DJ Brandon Block made his way on stage, interrupting Ronnie Wood after apparently jokingly being told he had won a gong. Wood called him, um, a name, it all kicked off, a drink was thrown, but host Davina McCall kept her cool Image: In the same year, Robbie Williams challenged friend-turned-enemy Liam Gallagher very publicly to a fight. The late Caroline Aherne, presenting his award, said what we were all thinking – she didn’t fancy his chances. Pic: Richard Young/Shutterstock Image: With plenty of gold lame, Ali G arrived from a sofa in the air to perform Me Julie with Shaggy at the 2002 awards. Pic: Richard Young/Shutterstock Image: By today’s standards it was pretty PG, but when Justin Timberlake grabbed pop’s most famous bum at the 2003 awards, it was eyebrow-raising headline news. Pic: Richard Young/Shutterstock Image: The first Brits to be broadcast live in years, organisers probably wanted a safe pair of hands in 2007. Instead they chose Russell Brand, whose jokes sparked hundreds of Ofcom complaints. All publicity is good publicity, etc Image: Also in 2007: what was up with Joss Stone’s accent? You’re not from California, Joss, you’re from Devon Image: Nominated for best group for the first time, 2008 was a big Brits year for Girls Aloud. However, five became four on the night – apparently because Nadine Coyle forgot her passport Image: The Brits 2008 will also be remembered as the year of complaints about Sharon Osbourne’s language, which included shouting obscenities at comedian Vic Reeves as he stumbled over his words while presenting an award Image: Another Brits, another Gallagher. In 2010, just months after Oasis’ split, Liam hurled his mic while accepting an award for best Brits album of the past 30 years. Gracious as ever. Host Peter Kay called him a n*****d. Pic: Dave M Benett/Getty Images Image: After being cut off by host James Corden during her speech in 2012, Adele gave the middle finger. Come on Adele, at least you got to say something – think of poor Mr Astley. Pic: Dave M. Benett/Getty Images Image: Awards shows can be long affairs, so it’s no wonder stars have to make quick exits for the loo. In 2014, Harry Styles picked the worst possible moment for his wee break, nearly missing the global success win for One Direction Image: Also in 2014, Arctic Monkeys won best group and best album. Frontman Alex Turner gave a bizarre speech about rock n roll, did a literal mic drop, no one really knew what to say Image: If you were a dancer manoeuvring around a star in a big cape, who’s the one person you wouldn’t want to pull over? Madonna, that’s who. Viewers watched in horror as the Queen of Pop fell in 2015. No doubt words were exchanged. Pic: Shutterstock Image: Presenters Ant and Dec didn’t know where to look when the very scantily clad model Sadie Pinn photo-bombed them as they were presenting. Poor loves Image: In quite an awkward exchange in 2018, host Jack Whitehall ended up speaking to Cheryl Cole and Liam Payne about their sex life and safe words. Luckily, they were photo-bombed by Este from Haim, which sort of detracted attention Image: After winning two of the night’s biggest awards, Stormzy was the star of 2018. “Theresa May, where’s the money for Grenfell?” he asked the prime minister, delivering the most memorable Brits performance in years Image: And finally, in 2020, south London rapper Dave delivered the night’s most politically charged set, accusing Boris Johnson of being a “real racist” and also speaking up Meghan and for Grenfell fire victims. Pic: AP