Bad-boy Gallagher aside, it was a tame Brits night

It's the biggest night in the British music industry calendar, renowned for drunkenness, bad language, feuds and bad behaviour. But last night the 30th Brit Awards ceremony was a noticeably more well-behaved affair.

Predictably enough, it was Liam Gallagher who added a touch of spice to last night's awards. Equally predictably, he was censored before his words could be broadcast to viewers.

Gallagher, vocalist and repeat bad boy of rock, was in no mood to grow old gracefully and was in familiar four-lettered mood when invited on stage to receive an award on behalf of his former band, Oasis.

"Listen kids," he told the audience, "The best bands in the f****** world live forever." Upon which he tossed the award and the microphone into the crowd.

The audience, including many of the bright young things of British music, were able to hear the singer's remarks but as part of attempts to make the Brits acceptable viewing for live family viewing a censor was waiting to press the mute button to prevent swearing being broadcast.

Those at home, many of them doubtless too young to remember the heady days in 1996 when Oasis triumphed at the Brits with three awards, had to remain satisfied with watching the award statue disappear into the audience.

Peter Kay, who hosted the show, offered a succinct view of the singer's behaviour. "What a knobhead," he said as Gallagher left the stage. The band's (What's the Story) Morning Glory? was declared to be the best album recorded in the last 30 years.

Among the current batch of nominees and guests it was Lily Allen who came closest to causing controversy. She opened the awards ceremony by landing on stage astride a replica bomb and the sound of air raid sirens, presumably to make some political point in aid of her chosen charity, War Child, as British troops take part in an offensive in Afghanistan. As she sang "The Fear" a series of male dancers dropped to the stage dressed in pink camouflage, brandishing machine guns and Union Jack umbrellas. Her spokesman quickly downplayed the significance of the performance.

The corporate side of the Brits was visible, with souvenirs bearing the logo of event sponsor, Mastercard, and for every musician-studded table there were numerous City men in suits. But even with free flowing alcohol it felt as though the danger days of the Brits were over, which somehow made the night feel less starry than usual.