Lily's in tears over Ivor Novello triumph

Lily Allen broke down in tears as her song The Fear scooped major prizes at the Ivor Novello Awards today.

The tune won both the PRS for Music most performed work award as well as best song musically and lyrically.

Wiping away tears as she reached the stage, Allen said: "Thank you, I'm trying so hard to hold it together...

"This song is so much about feeling so lost... it has made me feel quite found all of a sudden."

Earlier as she arrived for the London ceremony, Allen confessed she still regards her songs as "nursery rhymes".

The star was wearing a long primrose-coloured gown and holding her four-year-old sister Teddy Rose in her arms.

Allen said she was "really happy" with her nominations.

But she added: "I still just kind of think my songs are like nursery rhymes - little ditties. We'll see what happens."

Asked backstage if her Novello success would make her reconsider plans to "retire", Allen shook her head and said: "I don't know about that."

Guitar legend Johnny Marr was awarded the inspiration prize.

The former Smiths guitarist has formed collaborations with Billy Bragg, the Pet Shop Boys and Bryan Ferry as well as being associated with Modest Mouse, Electronic and The Cribs.

He was hugged by Noel Gallagher as he walked to the stage to pick up his gong.

Marr told the audience: "I always thought that the greatest thing you can achieve as a musician is to be called an inspiration - aside from a big house in Sunningdale obviously."

He said of his career: "I sincerely hope that there will be a lot more twists and turns because that's what I like to do.

"I believe that rock music and pop music is an art form."

Paolo Nutini's Sunny Side Up scooped the album award.

Nutini said: "It was an honour to be nominated in the first place."

Bat For Lashes song Daniel won best contemporary song.

The song's writer Natasha Khan said: "I'm so shocked, thank you.

"Who would have thought that when I was sitting in my pyjamas in my bed writing this song, I would be standing here?"

Music producing legend Trevor Horn, who has worked with Robbie Williams and the Pet Shop Boys among a long list of others, won the PRS for Music outstanding contribution to British music award.

Horn joked: "It doesn't matter what you look like, if you sing and you play an instrument you will get laid."

Allen was in tears again later when she and Greg Kurstin were named as the songwriters of the year.

Confessing she felt like she was in a school assembly, Allen said: "There are lots of aspects of my job which have nothing to do with songwriting.

"Some of them I enjoy, some of them I don't."

But she added: "I really feel genuinely thrilled and honoured to be given this award."

Allen continued: "I should probably thank the subjects of my songs, some of them shall remain nameless and others will have to live with the consequences - but that's their fault."

She joked backstage that the awards could make her writing fees go up.

Gallagher presented the lifetime achievement award to Paul Weller - and declared his love for the singer.

He said of Weller: "This is a man in rock.

"People ask us on many occasions what it's like to be men in rock, and we say: 'It's all right.'

"I haven't got anything more to say apart from I love you."

Weller told the audience: "I have enjoyed the last 33 years I was writing songs."

Sir Tim Rice was presented with the academy fellowship award by veteran entertainer Tommy Steele, who described him as "a truly wonderful wordsmith of our times".

Sir Tim told the audience that the first record he ever bought was by Steele, in 1957.

Sir Tim, who had brought the disc along with him, said: "I have a chance to get it signed."

The special international award went to Neil Sedaka, who said: "It's wonderful to be an American musical ambassador travelling around the world."

Imogen Heap won the international achievement award.


Here is the full list of winners of the 55th Ivor Novello Awards:

* PRS for music most performed work - The Fear, Lily Allen;

* Best television soundtrack - Desperate Romantics (composer Daniel Pemberton);

* Best contemporary song - Daniel, Bat For Lashes;

* The Ivors inspiration award - Johnny Marr;

* Best original video game score - Killzone 2 (composer Joris de Man);

* The Ivors classical music award - Sir Peter Maxwell Davies;

* Best song musically and lyrically - The Fear, Lily Allen;

* Album award - Sunny Side Up, Paolo Nutini;

* International achievement - Imogen Heap;

* Best original film score - Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (composer John Powell);

* PRS For Music outstanding contribution to British music - Trevor Horn;

* Special international award - Neil Sedaka;

* Songwriters of the year - Lily Allen and Greg Kurstin;

* Lifetime achievement - Paul Weller;

* Academy fellowship - Sir Tim Rice.