You can see why the organisers of the Brits wouldn't turn down the offer of U2 for their programme this year: in 2008, they were scraping up Mika-and-Beth-Ditto duets to try and fill out the time. They'll be pleased at having someone who most of the ITV audience will have heard of.
Naturally, they're excited. They've rushed out a press release, busting its buttons with pride:
The BPI, the UK record labels’ body, today announced the exciting news that the mighty U2, one of the world’s biggest bands, will perform their brand new single ‘Get On Your Boots’ live at The BRIT Awards 2009 with MasterCard. This highly anticipated annual event takes place on Wednesday 18 February at London’s Earls Court.
Highly anticipated? If by 'highly anticipated' you mean 'foreshadowed by dread and foreboding', perhaps.
This year’s BRIT Awards, the premiere event in the British music calendar...
If you don't count Glastonbury, or the Proms, or the electric Proms, or the Mercury, or...
...is shaping up to be one of the strongest yet...
In other words, with no bloody Osbournes, no reliance on Mika and/or the Scissor Sisters, it's hard to see how it can be quite as duff as previous efforts.
...with U2 confirmed, Pet Shop Boys being honoured with the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award and further intriguing live performances to be announced over the coming weeks. The show will be a spectacular night of great music, featuring and honouring the hottest music talent and thrilling the eleven thousand audience at Earls Court, as well as making it a must tune-in for the millions watching The BRITs live on ITV1.
Featuring and honouring the hottest music talent. With U2 and the Pet Shop Boys. If it was 1987, you might have a point. In 2009, that's a bit of stretch.
Still, at least they drop the hyperbole for that last sentence: normally, you'd claim that a big event was simply a "must-see". Honest to admit it's the sort of programme that those who watch will want to watch. Let's hope they keep that realistic line and don't suddenly say something that makes them look silly.
Ged Doherty, Chairman of The BRITs Committee said, “We’re thrilled to be able to confirm that U2 have chosen The BRITs for their first global TV performance on their new album. Their addition to the line-up for this year’s show makes it possibly the best we have ever had. This cements The BRITs as one of the biggest TV events in the world.”
One of the biggest TV events in the world? Last year it barely scraped six million in the UK. It got fewer viewers than, perhaps understandably, the announcement of the new Doctor Who; less than the first episode of Dancing On Ice. Bloody hell, even All Star Family Fortunes managed a broadly similar figure over Christmas. It's not one of the biggest TV events in the world, it's a fairly solidly-performing mid-range entertainment for ITV.
But, still: quite a coup for them to actually get Bono to do something that doesn't involve him talking.