Parties: Stars go a Brit too far

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It was the year the Brit Awards went deliriously pop, anointing Kate Nash over PJ Harvey, Mika over the Klaxons, and pretty little Kylie over everyone.

Host Sharon Osbourne indulged in a spot of pot/kettle name-calling by castigating Vic Reeves for appearing inebriated while presenting an award, and though Amy Winehouse performed with slow burning wonder on stage, she left without a gong.

As a fog descended on London's streets, the winners spilled out across the capital for various after-show shindigs.

Revivalists Take That, Barbadian diva Rihanna and TV folk Davina McCall and James Nesbitt hobnobbed at Bayswater's exclusive Hempel Hotel; while over at the 28th-floor bar of Park Lane's swanky Hilton Hotel, presenter Dermot O'Leary and Five's glitziest newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky sipped expensive Champagne courtesy of Sony, alongside EastEnder Phil Daniels, Best British Male Mark Ronson and the larger-than-life Beth Ditto.

But what of those pop folk not so fortunate as to have been invited to a five-star event? Thank heavens for Richard Desmond, whose OK! Magazine threw its own post-Brits bash in a Regent Street nightclub, where former members of runner-up Popstars Liberty X and boyband Blue mixed with young women dressed more for the task of bagging a footballer for the night and a tabloid exclusive by the weekend than staving off the cold of a by-now freezing night.

Over by the bar, erstwhile Big Brother contestants in skinny jeans and feather cuts came grudgingly to terms with perhaps the harshest reality of the night: drinks had to be paid for. If a free bar is all that separates celebrities from everyday folk these days, they had every right to fret.