Thursday, February 15, 2007

Brits: Anything could have happened, but didn't

The Sun is insisting this morning that "hundreds of viewers" complained to ITV about Russell Brand:

[H]e swore before the watershed and hundreds of viewers complained to ITV1 over his risque gags in the live show.

He cracked a joke about FRIENDLY FIRE — days after the furore over the Iraq killing of British soldier Matty Hull.

It then republishes the somewhat tame shirts and skins joke in full.

The paper even tries to suggest that Russell was sharing the outrage around:
Brand said AMY WINEHOUSE’S name was a description of her liver — then credited Noel Gallagher for that gag.

No, actually, he credited Noel Gallagher with the (funnier) suggestion the set was like being in one of Amy Winehouse's tattoo. But you're near enough.

You'll be pleased to hear that Bizarre has come up with a "verdict" for you to write down on a piece of paper and take away:
BIZARRE VERDICT: Playing to a live crowd is a tough feat — but Russell managed to get the right mix of comedy without being too risque.

Hang about, though - you started out saying that "hundreds of viewers" complained - either they don't exist, or your verdict is totally at odds with your story. And has there ever been anyone on a stage who hasn't played to a "live crowd" - the paper seems confused, as if it thinks that it's the audience who's been on tape the last few years.

But as Alexis Petridis points out in The Guardian, not even Brand talking about Keith Allen's willy was going to be able to make the show live up to what it desperately wanted to be (a shadow of its former self):
You can tell it's that time of year again when you hear music PRs, representatives of the British Phonographic Industry and TV executives telling you that anything can happen at the ceremony, expect the unexpected, batten down the hatches for the most outrageous event in history.

This year, even the host, Russell Brand, was at it. The event, he claimed, was going to be "a carnival of mayhem".

What's aggrieving about those comments - aside from the spirit-sapping tone of forced you-don't-have-to-be-mad-to-work-here jollity, and the fact that it's hard to imagine any kind of Carnival of Mayhem sponsored by Mastercard - is that anything can't happen at the Brits. Nothing unexpected has occurred at the ceremony since 1996.

The Daily Mail attempts to work up some outrage about Russell Brand's performance, but you can just tell its heart isn't really in it:
Brand did his utmost to shock throughout the two-hour show. One swear-word and two references to intimate body parts came within the first hour.

A bad-taste gag about Robbie Williams who is currently in rehab, was poorly received. His joke about the size of the singer's medicine cabinet was greeted with boos.

He also did little to endear himself to Tory leader David Cameron by claiming that the politician, who is said to have smoked cannabis in his youth, was an ideal advocate for the anti-drugs brigade.

Yes, that's what a wild and crazy evening the Brits offered: live, on national TV, Russell Brand threw away his chance of ever becoming home secretary in a Cameron cabinet.

The Telegraph observes that ITV carried the show with a live delay (so, erm, not actually live then), musing that this was probably "wise" with Brand on board. But the paper only mentioned the Cameron gag - presumably it had flipped channels to catch up on Location, Location, Location while he was making jokes about photos of the Queen's vagina. Or maybe that sort of thing is now considered fair game in the multimedia Telegraph hub these days.

The Mirror's coverage, led (of course) by the 3AM Girls, isn't bothered about Brand at all. They're much more scandalised by Sophie Ellis-Bextor's wardrobe:
There was some definite nipple action going on underneath this frilly see-through number.

And she told us: "I took more than two hours to get ready and just when I thought I could slip out, I had to read a bedtime story to my little one."

We hope she's talking about her son!

No, 3AM Girls, she's talking about her penis.

Still, kudos to the girls for getting the interview everyone wanted, with, erm, Jamelia. The column's obsession with Jamelia is a fascinating thing to behold - they even let her guest-edit once, and now they carry her every utterance as if she was Britney or something, rather than a Samantha Mumba understudy:
"Being nominated for a Brit Award meant so much to me.

"You can't help being worried when you read all these things saying that you're about to be dropped or horrible rumours that your album is in some bargain bucket.

"So I felt an enormous sense of relief about being nominated, it made me feel more secure."

That's great. Some people might have thought they were on a rather weak shortlist, just making up the numbers, and felt a little bit used.

Talking of which, how was Lily Allen? The 3AM know, or rather, heard someone who did:
And despite being up for a staggering three awards, the Smile star went home with NOTHING.

Later when a fan told her she should have beaten her rival, Lily let rip: "I fucking know."

A staggering three awards? Three is hardly that amazing a number, is it? There's more than three people left in Westlife, for example.

Back at the Sun, though, Victoria Newton knew what the real story about Lily Allen was, though - it was all about Newton:
SMILE singer LILY ALLEN had little to be cheerful about after she was snubbed for all FOUR of her gongs, as we predicted.

Erm, actually, Victoria, you didn't. Your article said Lily was afraid of losing them all, and quoted "experts" who said it was possible - you, yourself, didn't predict a thing.

Of course, the Daily Record view everything from a Scottish perspective - pointing out that Snow patrol were also up for three awards, and won nothing. And they even made them play live.

The Record is also the only paper which seems to think the victory of the Fratellis is worth a headline - but, of course, national pride prevents the paper from suggesting this might prove they've got a fanbase more prepared to rig a vote than their best breakthrough competitors. It certainly suggests that, for all Lily Allen's new friends requests she gets on MySpace, few of her friends are prepared to spend a couple of minutes bombarding the Radio One with votes. Popularity only means something if people are prepared to act upon it.

It falls to the Scottish paper, as well, to provide a sentence which crystallises just how horrible mainstream British music has become:
Paisley singing sensation Paolo Nutini was pipped to the Best British Male Award by [James] Morrison.

We're not quite sure how far from the front the Telegraph's pisspoor Spy column was sitting, but the quality of their backstage gossip suggests they might not even have made it out of Earls' Court tube:
Cleo Roccos hasn't let the grass grow under her feet since leaving the Big Brother house. Spy recently reported that Roccos had been seen in the House of Commons with fellow contestant Jermaine Jackson. Roccos informs me of the plans she is hatching with him.

"We are forming a sort of Nobel Peace Prize meets the Oscars," she tells Celia Walden. "It will recompense people like Nelson Mandela and Al Gore for their achievements and the ceremony will take place in Dubai next February.

We bet Al Gore is already clearing his diary to get a prize off that woman who used to be on the Kenny Everett show twenty years ago. Mandela will be there, though. He's a bit of a showbiz whore these days. He's on Buzzcocks week after next.

Seriously, if The Times has anything about the Brits this morning on its site, I couldn't find it - there was a ticker which seemed to be about Amy Winehouse, but clicking on it didn't do anything. (Firefox, Mac 10.4.8 if it helps you, Mr. Murdoch.)

Perhaps we should give the last word, for now, to Alexis Petridis in The Guardian:
It's like a musical equivalent of Ski Sunday. No one watches it to see who wins, they tune in only in the hope of seeing something go disastrously wrong. When it doesn't - and it hasn't for over a decade - the Carnival of Mayhem immediately evaporates from the collective memory.


Lawrence Boone said...


Anonymous said...

And what about Preston's storm-off? The humourless cockmonkey. He was proper sulking before they'd even said a word about Shahnteww.

I'd believe it was faked - the timing of the walk-off was so weird and he didn't even look angry - but I can't think of a reason why he'd want to make himself look such a moody knob on purpose.

Anonymous said...

"It's like a musical equivalent of Ski Sunday. No one watches it to see who wins, they tune in only in the hope of seeing something go disastrously wrong."

rubbish... i tune in to see the theme tune... that ski sunday theme gets me going every time... which is more than could be said for the the music at the brits...

Mikey said...

Hang on, I'm all confused:

"And despite being up for a staggering three awards, the Smile star went home with NOTHING"


"SMILE singer LILY ALLEN had little to be cheerful about after she was snubbed for all FOUR of her gongs, as we predicted"

If Vicky & the 3AM girls can't reach a consensus on how many little statuettes (which somehow work as gongs) Lily Allen's record company made a sealed bid for, then what hope is there for pop journalism in the 21st Century?

Yes, I could have counted the nominations myself, but the Brits is a cue to imbibe fine wines and have a little sleep round our house.

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