Last year's Brits were watched on telly by a desultory 4.2 million, with the disappointing viewing figures underlining just how boring the awards have become.
But in the Brit Pop heyday the ceremony was a by word for the perils of live television, with a drunken Robbie Williams likely to start a brawl with Liam Gallagher.
Brits bosses are keeping their fingers crossed that tonight's ceremony - which includes a surprise addition to the bill in the form of Kanye West as well as Madonna's first Brits performance for 20 years and Taylor Swift - they’ll still be relying on auto-cue muck ups and offensive acceptance speeches to inject the ceremony with a bit more rock’n’r oll.
Ahead of tonight's event at the 02 Arena we look back at some of the most memorable moments from the Brit Awards, from John Prescott having a jug of water chucked in his face to Jarvis Cocker flashing his bum at Michael Jackson in protest.
Most controversial Brit Awards moments
Most controversial Brit Awards moments
1/10 Geri Halliwell's Union Jack dress, 1997
Geri Halliwell's era-defining dress became an iconic symbol of the nineties, not least for the fact it revealed her knickers and a large amount of her very own 'brits'. The singer wore it for the band's performance of 'Who Do You Think You Are', voted Most Memorable Performance of 30 Years at the Brit Awards in 2010
2/10 Noel Gallagher insults INXS, 1996
Oasis star Noel Gallagher began his downward spiral of Brit controversy by telling INXS singer Mick Hutchence, who presented the band with an award: "has beens shouldn't present f***ing awards to gonna-bes"
3/10 Robbie Williams challenges Liam Gallagher to televised fight, 2000
After winning Best British Song and Best British Video for 'She's the One' at the 2000 Brit Awards, Williams challenged public enemy Liam Gallagher to a televised fight, saying: 'Liam, a hundred grand of your money and a hundred grand of my money. We'll get in a ring and we'll have a fight.' Alas for Williams, Gallagher was out of the country at the time
4/10 Liam Gallagher lobs mic into audience, 2010
But then Liam Gallagher decided to go Brits up himself (ten years on, mind). The Oasis singer collected a gong for Best Album, before chucking the award to a fan and hurling the microphone into the audience. Host Peter Kay called the singer a 'knobhead'
5/10 Adele gives the middle finger, 2012
Adele gave the finger after James Corden cut short her acceptance speech for British Album of the Year. Corden was under pressure from television producers worried about the show overrunning, who later apologised to the singer. Adele said the middle finger was 'to the suits at the Brit Awards', not her fans
6/10 Russell Brand sparks Ofcom Complaints, 2007
Never one to shy away from offending, Russell raised a few eyebrows with quips about Robbie Williams' spell in rehab, the Queen's 'naughty bits' and a British soldier killed in Iraq. ITV received over 300 complaint calls from viewers and Ofcom logged a further 135
7/10 John Prescott has jug of water poured in his face, 1998
Chumbawamba vocalist Danbert Nobacon poured a jug of water over the deputy prime minister's head at the 1998 Brit Awards. The band attacked New Labour on stage at the award, singing: 'New Labour sold out the dockers, just like they sell out to us'
8/10 Sharon Osbourne calls Vic Reeves a p**s head, 2008
An altercation between Sharon and Vic Reeves ensued when the comedian made a quip about Kylie Minogue, saying she was 'all right, a bit of work there and she will be ok', which was met with silence. Reeves then seemed to forget which award he was presenting, prompting Sharon to tell him: 'Shut up, you're a piss head, piss off you bastard.'
9/10 Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood's dodgy hosting, 1989
Inexperienced hosts Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood presented the 1989 awards , which led to missed autocues, pop stars coming up to the stage at the wrong time, and a generally poorly executed show
10/10 Jarvis Cocker storms stage in protest against Michael Jackson, 1996
Cocker stormed on stage during Michael Jackson's performance to protest against the singer by bending over and pointing his bum in his direction. Later he said his actions were a protest 'at the way Michael Jackson sees himself as some kind of Christlike figure with the power of healing'
Here's hoping Ant and Dec (who are presenting the awards for the first time since 2001) do something outrageous. Or failing that, Kanye has a good track record. Is Beck appearing?
- More about:
- Jarvis Cocker
- Kanye West
- Geri Halliwell
- Liam Gallagher
- Robbie Williams
- Taylor Swift
- John Prescott
- Michael Jackson