The best bits from the Brits

From Wham! and Norman Tebbit to Robbie vs Liam, these are our favourite moments from the always eventful Brit Awards

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Norman, Elton and Wham! (1986)

A brilliantly incongruous moment as Thatcher’s Rottweiller Norman Tebbit met a silk-robed George Michael and a hair-bowed Elton John and complemented them on their contribution to the British GDP. He presumably didn’t realise that not only was he sharing a stage with two confirmed bachelors, but that Wham! had played a benefit for striking miners a year earlier.


Rick and The Who (1988)

Lancastrian crooner and professional internet meme Rick Astley was making his way to the stage to accept an award when the organisers realised they were over-running badly and a hotly-awaited perfomance by the elderly mods was in jeopardy. So Rick got rolled. Tragically, he never got a second chance…


Mick and Samantha (1989)

Missed cues, a fist-bitingly acute lack of chemistry, an inability to distinguish between Boy George and the Four Tops, and so much more. It’s like watching a harrowing anxiety dream, playing on a loop. The Fleetwood/Fox car crash actually revived audience interest in a then-waning event. Which proves, once and for all, what sadists we are.


The KLF (1992)

The best Brits moment EVER. The KLF announce their departure from the music business by inviting Ipswich hardcore legends Extreme Noise Terror to join them for a performance of boggle-eyed, spittle-flecked ferocity. Aged classical conductor Sir Georg Solti walked out in disgust, the audience clapped politely but looked genuinely terrified; the rest of us roared with delight.


Jacko and Jarvis (1996)

It was the height of Britpop and we weren’t really feeling as respectful towards the King of Pop as we might have been. So Cocker’s bum-waggling caught the national mood. Now, much as we love Jarvis, we wonder if he might have been a little more respectful towards this bewilderingly eccentric presence.


Chumbawamba and Prescott (1998)

As the 2001 election campaign confirmed, John Prescott always struggled with crowds – perhaps not the best attribute for a politician. Chumbawamba attacked New Labour in song before personalising their assault by drenching Prezza in icy water. ‘If Prescott has the nerve to turn up at events like the Brit Awards he deserves all we can throw at him,’ they explained.


Belle & Sebastian (1999)

Indie church mice Belle & Sebastian didn’t seem the likeliest controversialists. But their extensive following of boys in duffle coats and girls with ironic hair clips managed to vote them best newcomers – to the intense chagrin of Peter Waterman and a generation of pre-pubescent Steps fans.


Robbie and Liam (2000)

Around this time, Messrs Williams and Gallagher seemed to be engaged in their own private contest for the title of Britain’s Least Dignified Man. Robbie upped the stakes dramatically from the Brits stage, by challenging Liam to a prize fight. Liam didn’t respond, but only because he wasn’t actually present.


‘Brit Awards 2013’, Wednesday February 20, 8pm, ITV.


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