Take That, Mumford & Sons and Tinie Tempah lead Brit Award winners
Take That were named best group at the Brit Awards tonight - after a 17-year wait.
They were first nominated in their boyband days back in 1993, before an acrimonious split with Robbie Williams precipitated their break-up.
After a triumphant comeback, and with Robbie Williams returning to complete the original line-up, they have been honoured by the Brits at long last.
Mumford & Sons won the MasterCard British Album of the Year for their debut release Sigh No More.
The folk quartet self-financed the album and took the name from Much Ado About Nothing, citing Shakespeare as an inspiration. The band's public school origins - they were educated at St Paul's and King's College School, both in south-west London - have been cited as an example of 'posh' artists taking over the charts.
Laura Marling, the 21-year-old folk singer and sometime girlfriend of Marcus Mumford, won best British female. The nominees included Cheryl Cole, although unkind critics suggested she would be more at home in the 'best mime artist' category.
Tinie Tempah won the two awards chosen by public vote. The rapper - real name Patrick Okogwu - won best single for Pass Out and was also named best breakthrough act.
But he failed to win best British male - that award went to Plan B, otherwise known as Ben Drew.
Arcade Fire were also double winners, taking home best international group and album.
Justin Bieber was named best international breakthrough act - making up for his Grammy disappointment - and other international awards went to Rihanna (best international female) and Cee Lo Green (best international male).
Jessie J was the recipient of the Critics' Choice award.
James Corden, star of Gavin and Stacey, hosted the Brits in their new home at London's O2 arena.
For the first time, music artists were invited to join the voting and were the single largest group represented on the panel - a move that organisers say has lent the event added credibility.
Take That opened the awards with their latest single, Kidz.
This was their fourth best group nomination - they missed out in 1993, 2008 and 2009.
Their album, Progress, has sold close to two million copies in the UK. HMV's Gennaro Castaldo said: "For Take That these days it's as much about their status as chart icons and national treasures as it is the increased album sales that will inevitable follow this success.
"Mumford & Sons may already be firm favourites with Middle England, but this success will help cement their appeal with an even broader audience.
"With a substantial post-Brits bounce, it will now go through the landmark of a million sales - remarkable when you think relatively few people had heard of them this time last year."
Brit Awards 2011 - Full List of Winners
British Male Solo Artist Plan B
British Female Solo Artist Laura Marling
British Breakthrough Act Tinie Tempah
British Group Take That
British Single Tinie Tempah - Pass Out
MasterCard British Album of the Year Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More
International Male Solo Artist Cee Lo Green
International Female Solo Artist Rihanna
International Breakthrough Act Justin Bieber
International Group Arcade Fire
International Album Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Critics' Choice Jessie J