Monday 16 December 2019

Brits blighted by controversy

Madonna takes a tumble down stairs while performing on stage, during the 2015 Brit Awards
Madonna takes a tumble down stairs while performing on stage, during the 2015 Brit Awards

The Brit Awards have had their fair share of comedy disasters, awkward moments and iconic performances over the years.

From Madonna's fall, to an angry Adele, to an incident with a dead sheep - here are the controversies and highlights from Brits history.

:: Madonna fell over

The queen of pop took a dramatic tumble during her performance last year.

She fell down a set of stairs and landed awkwardly after a dancer tried to remove her cape as part of the routine. But she recovered, and returned to continue singing Living For Love.

The 57 year old later issued a statement saying she was "fine" and that her cape had been "tied too tight".

:: Kate Moss represented David Bowie

This year's Brit Awards are set to feature a tribute to Bowie, who died earlier this year - but the music icon last made a splash at the Brits in 2014 without even being there.

His supermodel friend Kate Moss was his stand-in to collect the best British male award on his behalf, clad in the Kansai Yamamoto rabbit-print jumpsuit he wore in 1972 as alter-ego Ziggy Stardust.

Moss - dubbed his "representative on Earth" - read out his acceptance speech, which controversially called for Scotland to remain part of the UK: "I'm completely delighted to have a BRIT for being the best male. But I am, aren't I Kate?

"I think it's a great way to end the day. Thank you very, very much. Scotland please stay with us."

:: James Corden cut off Adele

The British singer was left fuming in 2012 when, under pressure from producers worried about the show overrunning, presenter James Corden cut her acceptance speech for British Album of the Year short.

Adele then flipped the middle finger at the cameras, later saying it was aimed at "the suits at the Brit Awards" - and she received an apology.

She showed off her sense of humour the following year while giving her acceptance speech for best British single via videolink.

" I won't keep you too long as I wouldn't want to interrupt the Best Album speech at the end of the night", she joked.

:: Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood were hopeless

Fleetwood Mac's Mick Fleetwood and former page three girl Samantha Fox were a perplexing pick to host the Brits in 1989.

Unsurprisingly , the ceremony was a car crash - with cues missed, people arriving on stage at the wrong times, and awful ad-libbing.

Another host who went down like a lead balloon was Russell Brand in 2007, who sparked plenty of complaints with jokes about the Queen's "naughty bits".

:: The KLF shot blanks into the audience

Acid house band KLF were a nightmare for Brit Award organisers.

After being booked to open the show in 1992, they had a plan to throw buckets of blood at the audience.

They were dissuaded from this - but the alternative wasn't much better, as they fired blank rounds at spectators from a machine gun.

The band left the stage with the message ''KLF have left the music industry'', and later dumped a dead sheep at the official post awards dinner with the message "I died for ewe - bon appetit".

:: Liam Gallagher was rude

At the 2010 Brits, Gallagher made a surprise appearance to accept his award for best Brits album of the past three decades, for Oasis's (What's the Story) Morning Glory?.

He did not thank his brother and former band-mate Noel, gave away his award and hurled the microphone into the audience, causing a 10-minute delay.

It was not a huge surprise that comedian Peter Kay, who was hosting the awards, remarked: "What a knobhead."

It wasn't his first Brits controversy: in 2000, Robbie Williams challenged his nemesis Gallagher to a televised boxing match for £100,000.

:: Geri Halliwell wore a Union Jack mini-dress

One of the most iconic moments of 90s pop culture happened at the Brits.

Ginger Spice Halliwell performed in a dress emblazoned with the Union Jack, alongside her Spice Girls band mates.

:: Jarvis Cocker wiggled his bottom at Michael Jackson

The Pulp lead singer stormed the stage during Jackson's performance of Earth Song, and wiggled his behind.

He later explained: " My actions were a form of protest at the way Michael Jackson sees himself as some kind of Christlike figure with the power of healing.

"I just ran on the stage. I didn't make any contact with anyone as far as I recall."

PA Media

Also in this section