Pop: Somebody be outrageous. Quick

BRIT AWARDS

LONDON ARENA

NO IMPROMPTU cold showers, no pop star derrieres, not so much as a flying egg. Even with the generous array of targets at Tuesday night's Brits, including Cher, Cherie, Mo Mowlam and Whitney, the most controversial moment arrived when The Corrs were declared superior to REM and Bono said "bollocks".

The last two years' award ceremonies have seen the Deputy Prime Minister doused with the contents of an ice bucket by Chumbawamba's Danbert Nobacon, and Michael Jackson's ego bruised by the sight of Jarvis Cocker's behind. To avoid any further calamity, this year's event was so rigorously organised that every drop of atmosphere seemed to have been ushered out of the auditorium along with the hangers-on.

The difficulties that faced potential pranksters were manifold. First, they were up against a wall of security that would have made Parkhurst look like a holiday camp. At least two beefy men covered head to toe in gadgetry guarded each lamp-lit table. They seemed more concerned about errant celebrities than fans, since it took three of them to usher the pint-sized Kylie Minogue back to her place. To quell any political rallying, the New Labour contingent was seated well out of harm's way, though Boy George still entreated them to "leave our vegetables alone".

And would the audience have noticed anyway? Most of them seemed more concerned with who was scoffing the vol-au-vents than with who was winning prizes. The only real enthusiasm seemed to come from the competition-winners, who occasionally managed to outdo the canned applause with their squealing.

Johnny Vaughan did his best to spice up the proceedings, despite the fact that his carefully honed script had been stolen from his car the night before. His gentle ribbing sometimes bordered on rude, particularly when he hinted that Celine Dion resembled a certain part of a bus.

With teen acts dominating the charts, the organisers were clearly at a loss as to what to do with them all. A brainwave arrived in the form of an anodyne "Abba medley" in which Steps, B'witched, Billie and Cleopatra cavorted about the stage in panto outfits that were presumably intended to evoke the Seventies. Disappointingly, Boyzone got a slot to themselves as they grinned their way through Billy Ocean's "When the Going Gets Tough."

Some stars struggled to hide their disdain when they collected their prizes. As Fatboy Slim, aka Norman Cook, took the podium after being awarded the best dance act, he waved a piece of paper saying: "Speechless", and stalked off in silence. Desperate not to be upstaged, Robbie Williams later held up a sign saying: "Legless", as he picked up his second award.

But the evening was not without its emotional moments. Seeing Bono weaving his way between the tables to present an award to the former world heavyweight champion Mohammed Ali for his contribution to the Drop The Debt campaign brought a genuine lump to the throat. And Cher, jiggling to her techno-inspired "Do You Believe" and surrounded by lookalike dancers, was enough to make your eyes water.

The climax of the show was when Stevie Wonder joined the lifetime achievers Eurythmics to perform a hotch-potch of their Eighties hits. But despite their best efforts to look hip, Lennox and Stewart's Union Jack suits were no match for Ginger Spice's patriotic get-up of two years ago.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

film
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

books
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried