The one thing everyone was talking about post-Brits last night – apart from Ed ‘The Sheeranator’ Sheeran’s titanically exciting performance, obviously – was the fact that Adele gave ITV cameras the finger after her speech was cut short to make way for Blur’s live set. She was right to do so. I’d have done the same.
Admittedly, the whole night had been leading up to Blur. They were the guests of honour, recipients of the Outstanding Achievement Award, the hallowed honour reserved only for the very greatest British acts, such as Sting. And time was running out when Adele stepped up to accept her Album Of The Year award.
But so what? Are advertisers really so insanely implacable they would begrudge a 30 second over-run while the year’s most successful pop star said a few words of thanks? It was the night’s final award, and Adele was in the middle of a touching speech. To interrupt it – as James Corden did – wasn’t just clodhopping TV. It was plain bad manners.
Sure, Damon’s own acceptance speech went on a bit longer than expected. Those things are hard to predict. With that random element in mind, though, shouldn’t organisers have built some slack into the schedule, just in case? The whole event seemed to run on a bizarrely sped-up momentum, as if ITV were terrified of losing viewers’ attention for even a split second.
Whitney Houston died? Ooh, 10 seconds tribute to her. Amy Winehouse? A two-minute VT should do the trick. And yet there was plenty of time both for James Corden’s suicidally unfunny ‘zingers’ – PJ Harvey used to be in PJ And Duncan? Hahahahahakill me – and endless sponsor’s messages.
Of course, sensing public disdain, both ITV and James Corden have now apologised for the debacle. But it’s given the whole evening, in hindsight, a faint air of bungling calamity. You can’t help thinking this would never happen at the Grammys. Try as it might, and as slick as it tries to be, the Brits can never quite shake off its historic tradition of mild shoddiness.