It's the 30th anniversary of the Brits, if you count oddly and don't look too closely at the details, and in tribute, No Rock is going to be bringing you a liveblog. For younger readers, liveblogs were incredibly popular back in 1977, when the Brits launched. They might have fallen out of favour since, but who can forget Jean Rook liveblogging the silver jubilee?
It's presumably in this spirit of looking back that Peter Kay has been invited to host the event this year, as there's no earthly reason why he should be doing so in 2010 otherwise.
If they'd invited him when he was doing The Sunday Show, he might have been a feisty chrome://foxytunes-public/content/signatures/signature-button.pngchoice. During Phoenix Nights, he'd have been at the height of his popularity. In 2010, he's just a bloke who has a large pile of one-autobiography-too-far waiting to be pulped.
Anyway, bring it on, Mr. ITV. Bring it on.
It's already falling apart. Sound cutting off for no reason. Long pause. Two of the lesser Spices come on the pick up the rememerable prize.
It's B and Halliwell. Geri claims they're the "most naughtiest" Spice Girls, and threatens to swear. But instead goes into an "I can remember when it was all trees here" speech. "We've come home" she says. Go home, more like.
Next award: Andy Serkis ("he's played the lead in Sex Drugs and Rock And Roll: The Susan Boyle story" says Kay. Hopefully he's not paid a scriptwriter for this.)
Serkis is giving out the British Male Solo artist. Could it be Nutini?
"I used to eat extremely sour yoghurt" says the advert. But nobody made you, did they? Nobody made you.
In the run up to the event, NME tweeted that JLS are backstage trying to tell people that they're a proper band and not just a boyband. I sometimes try to tell people that I'm a traffic cop and not just a confused man standing in the road waving my arms around. Doesn't make it so.
At least they've got some new Mastercard break bumpers this year.
Oh, starting with Lily Allen, an airraid siren and a big flag. Lily's entering astride a massive bomb. Which is a metaphor for the next album.
She's doing the one about how terrible it is being famous. Good lord, what the hell is going on with her hair? Did she take pity on Amy Winehouse's stylist for having nobody to pull backwards through a hedge?
Women dancing with prams. Well... it's a first, I suppose.
"I don't know how I'm meant to feel anymore." Which is kind of the relationship the public has with Allen now - is it still okay to like her?
You can tell this is an audience who don't really like music by how few cameras there are being held up to tape her.
Peter Kay has marched on stage. They've already cut his microphone.
He appears to have come wearing that fat suit he had for Doctor Who.
First award: most memorable performance of thirty years.
They've brought Sam Fox on to present, which is a better joke than any Kay has had so far. Let's hope he's having that airhorn inserted in his arse backstage right now.
"The most remememerable performance in thirty years", apparently.
Bollocks - managed to delete the Spice Girls piece entirely. Needless to say, they sent two lesser Spices - Halliwell and B - with Geri at first threatening to swear before collapsing into an "I can remember when it was all trees round here" speech. "We've come home" she finishes, before - thankfully - going home.
Andy Serkis comes on next to do best British Male, with Kay suggesting he's been the lead in "sex drugs and rock and roll: the Susan Boyle story". Let's hope that Kay isn't paying a scriptwriter for this.
Dizzee Rascal is playing tonight. Sorry, has been judged the best British Male.
JLS have come dressed like Action Man has launched a sexy dustman line.
Fearne Cotton is doing her awful interviews with winners piece - or "let's see if we can make people thankful for the adverts arriving". She tells Dizzee that his prize is "the at-last award", as if he'd somehow done enough for it in - when, exactly? 2008?
Over on Twitter, Conor McNicholas:
Can't believe Dizzee won Best Male Solo. There's one in the eye for the major record industry. And the minor industry. #britawards
In some way. Except for the major record industry having, erm, voted for to give him the prize in the first place.
Also over on Twitter, Popjustice:
Backstage, someone is currently telling Peter Kay that it's all going fine and to just relax and enjoy it
It has been a bit fall-apart so far - Kay really hasn't got a script to work with, the sound keeps muting like the audio guy is having flashbacks to when Ozzy was hosting, and there have been gaps... like... this...
Kay does a joke about Holby being on the other side. You can hear Archie Norman hissing "don't remind them".
Is Kay going to say "I'm Northern, I don't do both sides" every time a woman comes on?
Mel B is handling best international male bloke.
The winner is... Jay Z.
See? We say the Brits never move on, but if this was 20 years ago, they'd have gone for Michael Buble.
Funny thing, Jay Z is playing live here tonight. What a staggering coincidence.
How long did it take him to walk to the stage?
God, he's gone 'wassup' like a ten year old Budweiser advert. Now he's rambling about playing Glastonbury - imagine, a place that's had a dance tent and a world music stage for decades embracing hip hop, eh?
"Viewers of Razzle" - Kay can't even get his rubbish joke right.
Noddy Holder - who might have made an interesting host - is doing Best British Album Of Ever. "They put the ten biggest sellers in a hat..." says Nod, before correcting himself that it was a vote by Radio 2 listeners and in no way a random choice from a bunch of tatty old albums.
Oasis, according to this poll, have won.
John Lennon's here to pick up the prize. Liam might have pointedly not thanked Noel Gallagher, but as ITV cut the sound, we might never know.
"What a knobhead" says Kay, getting something right.
And no sooner has Liam shambled off, than they bring on Kasabian.
They've got a naked Gordon Smart stapled to a giant, burning cross in the middle of the stage.
Oh, no, they haven't. Just the fire bit. Plod. Plod. Plod. Carthorses dreaming they're doing dressage.
Over on the Twitters, former host of Naked City Ms Caitlin Moran:
It's dragging like a fox with its leg caught in a trap
Kasabian are still going on, by the way. They might drag this song out until the middle of next week. The cast of Corrie are making emergency plans to do the discovery of Joe's body at the side of the stage during one of the choruses.
Fearne Cotton is interviewing Mel B. Think Frost/Nixon, but with a bottle of Archers sloshing about inside both of them.
Cotton has just called the place B lives "la-la land". Luckily, the Pet Shop Boys break bumpers crashed in before she could go much further - I fear an "across the pond in the US of A" was heading towards us.
Kudos to the anonymous commenter who pointed out that Kasabian have got the night off from Minehead Butlins, by the way.
Mel B managed to use her Cotton interview to thank the rest of the Spice Girls who she had "forgotten" to thank while picking up their award earlier. That's going to make negotiations about the next bankruptcy-verge reunion tour a little awkward, isn't it?
I wonder how they persuaded the Pet Shop Boys to do these break bumpers.
Peter Kay: if you're planning on doing a presentation routine which is based on undercutting the whole event, you might want to make sure you're not presiding over a painful shambles.
"Do you think Peter's doing a good job" asks Geri. The audience stares at their feet.
Geri's now doing the 'sorry, I've just checked Wikipedia and found out I wasn't the only person in the band' apology. And picking on Kula Shaker, which is fair enough.
Although she does ask 'where are they now' - well, their time passed, Geri. But they realised it.
Breakthrough act time, and listeners to radio one are evil. They've given it to JLS.
Instead of La Roux.
JLS have removed their kidnapper-at-C&A dance outfits and got into 'starting new job at Halifax' suits.
Apparently they never ever thought this would happen. Neither did we. It turns out the god they pray to must be stronger than the one we pray to.
"She's flown halfway round the world" says Kay, ignoring that Love has been in Britain for over a week and did the Oxford Union at the weekend.
Courtney Love has come as Meryl Streep doing a Cher impression. She's giving the prize for Criticky-expect-to-do-well thing, which isn't just another Best New Act.
Ellie Goulding (for she is the best criticky new act thingy) says that she was going to take her shoes off to get the award. Courtney is thinking "in Britain you only have to take your shoes off?"
Kay tries an edgy joke about Michael Jackson's doctor, and honoured the scripted pause for "
Lady GaGa isn't doing it in a leotard; instead she's come on like 1970s Elton John had turned up at Lady Di's funeral.
Located, located, located on Twitter (you see?) Kirstie Allsopp is feeling cheated:
Where's the real Courtney Love? Or have I fallen for what the trash mags tell me & she's really Snow White?
Oh, GaGa's stood up now and the cameraman is entertaing himself by trying to read the tattoo on her arm.
It's like she's decided to compromise between doing a big, blousy performance and the low-key McQueen tribute she wanted to do by falling between two stools. Uncomfortably. With the wrong sort of bruising.
"Absolutely mesmerising" says Cotton.
"I would have liked it if she sang something I knew" says Halliwell.
Then - oddly - Courtney Love agrees with Geri.
You know what? I think I'd rather be at that Pet Shop Boys gig you only get ten seconds of every commercial break. It looks like more fun.
Tigerboy in the comments has suggested that ITV are actually staging this as a tribute to the 1989 show. At this rate, if they're going to find anything to use a hook to hang the trails for next year on, they'll be hoping for a gang of thugs to burst in and start stealing jewels. Otherwise it's gong to be "do you remember how crazy 2010 was? The year that as soon as anyone said anything vaguely interesting, we turned the sound off."
They've even got a cat at the Pet Shop Boys advert.
Peter Kay does a joke about garlic bread, supposedly being caught in the middle of a train of thought when the broadcast resumes. Unfortunately, he's been caught in the middle of an aimless twitter (old sense) every time they've come back from the ads.
What's this? Best band in London? Idris Elber seems a bit confused, to be honest. He also seems to be suggesting so many people watched the Superbowl because they had a British band on at half time.
Kasabian are getting the award for Best British Group. No, seriously. God, they look terrible. Like Oasis if they lived in a static caravan.
ITV have cut the sound again. What's the fucking point in doing it fucking live if you switch the fucking sound off every fucking five fucking minutes, you tossgibbons?
"You cannot make an omelette without breaking some eggs" conclude Kasabian.
Oh, god, Kay has just mentioned his awful X Factor "satire". It's like he wants us to hate him.
Half way through. Steady, everyone.
Cat Deeley is on hand to present the MTV's best international breakthrough.
Let's just ponder for a moment why the set is a giant clock.
Cat tries to take responsibility for GaGa's succes - "her first major US TV appearance was So You Think You Can Dance" ("I made you, GaGa, and I can destroy you" goes unsaid, but she means it.
GaGa, then. "You'd forget other international artists exist" trills Fearne as she trots up. Well, yes, if - like you, Cotton, you can only hold one thought in your head at a time.
Saying Lady GaGa came on a motorbike, or Dizee Rascal comes from Newton Abbot is not being satirical, Kay. It certainly isn't enough to base your entire show on.
Has to be said, Dizee and Florence pair up better than the usual surprising collaboration slot. But that's mainly because Candi Statton's You Got The Love is the sort of song you could strip down and set up at any travelling show you care to name.
They're throwing the confetti round like they've found the quarter of a million on Deal Or No Deal.
Prince Harry has shown up - only on tape, which is funny when all the winners have at least been arsed to show up. Whoever edited the tape left in the awkward face he pulled at the end. Of course, he had nothing useful to add, but it did mean one less slot for Fearne to do interviews, so for that we must thank him.
Citroen appear to be using footage of John Lennon telling us to do something different and new to promote their new car. Once again, Yoko remind us of the 'when you have a pig as great as that, you don't eat it all it once' Ronnie Corbett joke.
I'm prepared to give up a kidney if they start the ten o'clock news now.
Jonathan Ross is doing a prize? Dressed up as one of Run DMC? Shouldn't he be presenting this? After all, Ross is doing some comedy which is falling flatter than a kipper experiencing g-force, so he ticks the boxes.
His gift to give is best international female.
Lady GaGa has won this one, too. Newspaper editors breathe a sigh of relief, as they can at least run those "Brits go GaGa for GaGa" headlines. And pictures of her in a skimpy outfit.
"I love my fans so much" says GaGa. She actually sounds genuine, which just makes Peter Kay come across as even more of a cock.
Shirley Bassey is wearing an animal-print dress, but the sort of animal which has a pelt made from pure gold.
Her job is to offer a small statue to the best British female, from a not very tempting field.
Lily Allen wins - she has also performed tonight, you know. But it's just a coincidence. It's in no way a fix.
Her hair has turned orange since she was on stage. Perhaps a tribute to Annie Lennox who owned this category for 47 years. She comes to the stage so slowly you suspect she was just waiting until the PRS would decide enough of The Fear had been played to deserve a payment.
Allen then delivers a dull speech of thank yous which goes on for too long. Like a firecracker without a fuse.
Jay-Z has decided to make his act better by adding Alicia Keys to the performance. Which is like making a apple pie better by hiding a dead hamster in it.
Still, nice of Jay-Z to capture the spirit of an evening celebrating the best of British music and entertainment by singing, erm, a hymn to the spirit of New York.
If you told one half of the audience this was Alicia Keys with a guest rap by Jay-Z, they probably wouldn't be surprised.
"Concrete jungle where dreams and made, there's nothing you can't do" trills Alicia. Oh, yeah? Can you rustle up a Greggs pasty at 9am, New York?
That was alright, actually. Certainly better than what comes next - Ferane fawning over Lily Allen.
With a cold, clammy hand on my heart, I've suddenly realised they're building to Robbie Williams, aren't they? That's this year's Macca moment. Maybe that's why they've set the bar so low for the rest of the evening.
They've put the snowboardcross on hold because of the weather. If you were thinking of seeking your kicks elsewhere.
More rightness from Twitter: Chris Rubery:
Dear Jonathan Ross - this was funnier when RICHARD MADELEY did it. Think on that. #brits
Peter Kay hasn't been killed during the break. A fine advert for the power of British tolerance.
Mika tries to stop us hating him by mentioning Haiti and charity. That only makes us hate him a bit more. Apparently one of the shortlist for best international album he actually wants to win.
Lady GaGa takes it, though, which feels - unusually for the Brits - like a prize going to the right person. At least as far as the major labels patting themselves on the back goes. It was never going to be Empire Of The Sun, was it, and it would feel like seeing your daughter marrying Peter Kay if they had.
In order to mock Cheryl Cole's shampoo adverts, Peter Kay has just uttered the words "weak, limp, lifeless." A nation of TV reviewers praise the lord, and finish their copy.
Cole in wearing a white mac and big boots. So are her dancers. Is she going to rip it off during the dance routine?
I thought ITV had dipped the sound again, but no - the song is just so weak it failed to make it out the speakers.
Oh, look: she's taken the mac off to reveal something skimpy and sparkly underneath. I am literally speechless with surprise at such a thing. Lucky old Ashley Cole, being banned from having to watch this.
According to Wikipedia, this Cheryl Cole appears on TV critiquing other people's singing.
Alan Carr has come on stage, trying to pretend he hasn't spent the last two months laying awake chanting "please don't come back to channel 4, Jonathan Ross". Still, if your star is on the wane, Alan, you can look forward to hosting this in 2014.
Is this the best single prize? Zattoo stuttered and leaped into the shortlist, and from that it could be anything - a list of records left in Asda's dump bin after Christmas.
Yes, best single, and JLS have won. Fearne thinks this is "controversial" rather than the sort of thing which makes even stone lions cry blood tears.
JLS can't believe it. Peter Kay does his 'their name sounds like a sofa shop' joke for the second time tonight. Truly, he couldn't think of two funny things to say about JLS. Actually, he couldn't think of one funny thing.
Tom Ford is going to do... what... something? "How amazing did Lady GaGa look"? Is he going to suggest we try the chicken?
Oh, it's best album time. Now, since she's performed, and hasn't won anything, surely it'll be Florence and The Machine, yes?
A halfway decent album winning the best album prize - albeit one that didn't contain quite as many sweetmeats as we'd hoped for this time last year, and requiring a hefty cover version to keep it aloft. But at least it isn't Kasabian.
(As she leaves Earls Court, Florence Welch picks her coat up from Kate Nash in the cloakroom, and feels a chill)
Fearne asks one of JLS what's going through his head right now. Has she discovered satire this late in the day?
That Blackberry advert with the band who look like The Libertines-dressed-as-Orson doing the Beatles cover? When the great delirium happens, and our bodies become playthings of Satan's evil hordes, it still won't feel as awful as watching that does.
Outstanding contribution to music - this year, of course, going to Robbie Williams to mark the years when he didn't release a record.
Williams starts with one of those mock-pompous self-agrandising pieces which he hopes will make us think that he's sending himself up. Even though he knows, and we know, he really means it deep down.
Then he launches into Let Me Entertain you. Which is exactly like Peter Kay doing his garlic bread line: a man whose ship has long since sailed showing off pictures of his younger self, when he was treated by respect rather a sympathetic smile.
So, what have learned?
In fairness, this year wasn't as awful as last years - Jay-Z and Flo & Dizzee would have made excellent guests mid-way through a Jools Holland programme; Peter Kay was dreadful but at least there was only one of him, unlike The Osbournes; the Pet Shop Boys break bumpers were tantalising glimpses, reminding us that British music isn't actually a fetid swamp, whatever the rest of the programme might lead you to believe.
But JLS? It might have been funny making Rage Against The Machine a Christmas number one, but that doesn't mean we should spend all our time making inappropriate choices for titles, does it?
And Robbie Williams is still a smug lightweight; like Mickey Rooney has butchered Frank Sinatra and is running round with skin pulled over his head.
And so, as Williams gets the stage school kids and expense account execs to sing along with Angels, let us slip away quietly from Earls Court. Oh god, Ellie Goulding is bellowing along. Let's run.