Brit Awards: 12 of the most memorable moments

The Spice Girls perform at the Brits in 1997. Picture: PA
The Spice Girls perform at the Brits in 1997. Picture: PA
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Later this month, the 2016 Brit winner will be revealed - but let’s face it, it’s all about the mishaps and mischief, really. Keeley Bolger rounds up the awards’ most OMG memories

Watched as much for its mishaps as its moments of musical glory, the antics at the annual Brit Awards have long kept tongues wagging and jaws dropping.

An unimpressed Adele collecting her award for Album of the Year during the 2012 ceremony. Picture: PA

An unimpressed Adele collecting her award for Album of the Year during the 2012 ceremony. Picture: PA

Over the years, we’ve seen indie stars drop their trousers as well as their microphones, politicians get a drenching, awkward readings from autocues, fights - and even the odd bit of celebrating achievements in-between.

Hoping to restore order to proceedings are Ant and Dec, who will host this year’s show live from London’s O2 Arena, with a tribute to David Bowie planned.

Among the performers are Adele (who has four nominations), Coldplay, Little Mix, Justin Bieber, James Bay and Rihanna.

But before this year’s event, and pop’s brightest stars have their big night, on Wednesday, February 24, here’s a look back at some of the awards’ most memorable moments.


Fed up with Michael Jackson’s “Christ-like” persona during a performance of Earth Song at the 1996 awards, Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker gatecrashed the stage and wiggled his bum at the singer. He later said Jackson’s performance was “distasteful”.


In 1997, at the height of the Spice Girls’ fame, Geri ‘Ginger Spice’ Halliwell made her mark on fashion history by stepping onto stage in a black dress with a Union Jack tea towel sewn onto the front. The singer was planning on wearing a plain LBD but at the last moment decided to go for something more memorable.


The Brits came under fire in 1989, when model and singer Sam Fox and drummer Mick Fleetwood were paired up to present the ceremony. The unlikely duo tried their best in difficult circumstances (namely an excitable front row largely made up of Bros fans), but lines were missed and attempts at ad-libbing fell flat.


Tub-thumping band Chumbawamba made their feelings known when they drenched politician John Prescott with a bucket of ice cold water at the 1998 shindig. The Labour stalwart was watching the ceremony with his wife when band member Danbert Nobacon drenched Prescott.


It started out so well for Liam Gallagher and Robbie Williams. They played football together, went to Glastonbury together, had a few beers together and then, as soon as things looked rosy for their friendship, they fell out. The 2000 Brit Awards saw Williams challenging Oasis man Gallagher to a fight live on TV. Although many years have passed, the animosity rumbles on.

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Williams isn’t the only one to exchange verbal blows with Gallagher at the Brits. In 2010, host Peter Kay branded Gallagher a “knobhead” after the singer swore and gave a surly response to Oasis winning the Best Brit Album of the Last 30 Years, for (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?


Madonna proved herself worthy of her Queen of Pop title when she carried on through her 2015 Brits performance, despite taking a mighty tumble and falling down the stairs mid-song. She said afterwards that her elaborate cape had been tied too tightly.


Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner sent the internet into a spin when he delivered a cryptic speech about the state of rock and roll, after his band won Best British Album in 2014. To top it off, Turner dropped his microphone but in a polite afterthought, told the Brits committee to bill him for any damages.


Brit winner Adele was openly cheesed off in 2012, when host James Corden had to cut off her speech mid-flow. Expressing her disappointment, the singer turned and flipped the bird. Corden later said he’d been “furious” about being made to call time on Adele’s speech, and the following year, the pair poked fun at the incident together in a video.


In 2014, Kate Moss surprised the Brits crowd by standing in for her friend David Bowie to collect his award for Best Male. Dressed as Ziggy Stardust, she picked up Bowie’s gong and read out a speech written by the late singer, which also pleaded with Scottish fans to “stay with us”, in a nod to the then upcoming referendum on Scottish independence.


Most bands put out a bland statement detailing “artistic differences” for their split, but acid house group The KLF were much more to the point. The band, known for their songs Doctorin’ The Tardis and Justified And Ancient, teamed up with grindcore band Extreme Noise Terror for the 1992 awards, to perform a number, fire blank shots at the audience, and finally declare their departure from the music industry. As you do.


DJ Brandon Block was three sheets to the wind when his mate managed to convince him he’d won the gong for Best Film Soundtrack. He hadn’t - but by the time Block realised it was a joke, he was on the stage with award announcers Ronnie Wood and Thora Birch, who’d just revealed that Notting Hill had won. As the DJ was escorted from the stage, Wood called him out, and Block proceeded to chuck the dregs of his beer at the Rolling Stones legend.

• This year’s Brit Awards air on ITV on Wednesday, February 24

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