NME.COM

30 bizarre facts about the Brit Awards

  • The Brit Awards take place tonight (February 24), with Adele, Coldplay and Florence + The Machine all up for multiple gongs, while Amy Winehouse is a surprise contender for Best British female award. There's bound to be plenty to mock and enjoy in equal measure. It was ever thus. As the following facts demonstrate...

    Photo: PA

    Added: 18 Feb 2013

  • The Brits began way back in 1977, as a way of marking Queen Elizabeth II's 25 years on the throne. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • Since 2000 there has also been a classical version of the Brit Awards. This year Pope Benedict XVI has been nominated for an award as his voice appears on 'Alma Mater – Music From the Vatican'. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • In 1990 Margaret Thatcher chose '(How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window' as her favourite song in a video played at the awards ceremony. Fine Young Cannibals returned their two awards in protest. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • In 1992 The KLF were awarded Best British Group and opened the show with a somewhat unorthodox performance. Collaborating with grindcore band Extreme Noise Terror, they thrashed through a mental version of '3am Eternal' before peppering the crowd with fake gunshots and sending a motorcycle courier to collect the award. They also sent a dead sheep to the afterparty. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 11 Feb 2010

  • The infamous Union Jack dress worn by Geri Halliwell in 1997 was the most expensive piece of pop star clothing sold at auction until Michael Jackson's jewelled gloves went on sale in 2009. The dress was made by Halliwell's sister with Union Jack tea towels. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 11 Feb 2010

  • There have been a number of confrontations at the Brits, but one of the best was when Westlife's Brian McFadden tried to start a fight with members of So Solid Crew by throwing water at them. They returned fire with a hailstorm of glasses and bottles. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • Artists were frisked and had to undergo x-ray security checks for the first time in 2002, which were, according to The Independent, due to police worries over So Solid Crew's attendence. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • Shamed pervert Jonathan King hosted the Brits in 1987 and wrote and produced them between 1990 and 1992. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • Amy Winehouse allegedly once caused £3,000 worth of damage to her hotel suite after playing at the Brits. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • Shortly after collecting her award for Best International Female at the Brits in 2009, Katy Perry vomited backstage and had to leave immediately. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • One of the Brits' most famous moments came in 1998, when Chumbawamba tipped a bucket of water over John Prescott's head. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 11 Feb 2010

  • Prescott isn't the only politician to have had a hard time at the awards. When Tony Blair stood up to speak in 1996 he was jeered – by members of the Conservative Party. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • Nicky Wire turned up to the Brits in style in 1997, wearing an 'I Love Hoovering' T-shirt and running off when Zoe Ball tried to kiss him, saying, "My wife will kill me." Pic: Alpha

    Photo: Alpha

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • When the Osbournes presented the ceremony in 2008, Ladbrokes offered odds of 10-1 that there would be a celebrity punch-up. William Hill offered odds of 3-1 that a bat would be thrown onstage, 5-1 that Ozzy would announce the wrong winner and 10-1 that Sharon would have a 'wardrobe malfunction', Janet Jackson-style. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • In 1998, four out of the five bands nominated for the Best British Group award did not attend the event. The Verve were playing a one-off gig for a homeless charity in Brixton. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • You might know this one, but we couldn't resist bringing it up anyway. Back in 1996 our Shockwaves NME Awards host Jarvis Cocker took umbrage at Jacko's performance of 'Earth Song' and stormed the stage. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 11 Feb 2010

  • Neil Tennant once noticed a grammatical error on a sign on the presenters' room, and proceeded to correct it with a pen. The Pet Shop Boys' 'Go West' is up for the Brits Hits 30 award. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • The Pet Shop Boys performed in Lorraine Sands' living room at her home in Twickenham, southwest London, as part of Brits sponsor MasterCard's Priceless Gig series. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: PA Photos

    Added: 11 Feb 2010

  • The Brit School in Croydon, which is funded by the government and the British Record Industry Trust, has given the world a whole host of pop acts, from Amy Winehouse to Leona Lewis and The Kooks.

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    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • Robbie Williams has received the most nominations for Brit Awards, clocking in with an impressive 22 nods. He's won the most too, picking up 11 across his career, though thankfully not for 'Rudebox'. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • Jamiroquai and Radiohead haven't been so lucky. They've both received 15 nominations at the awards but have never won any. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • In 1997 Mel C tried to pick a fight with Oasis, by inviting Liam up onstage to have a go. For once, the younger Gallagher declined. Pic: Photoshot

    Photo: Photoshot

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • DJ Brandon Block and Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood almost came to blows at the 2000 Brit Awards, when an intoxicated Block took to the stage to claim an award he'd been told he'd won. The pair traded insults and Wood threw a drink in Block's face before the DJ was ejected. Pic: Rex Features

    Photo: Rex Features

    Added: 11 Feb 2010

  • Prince Harry is to appear at the Brit Awards this year with a birthday message for the award. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 16 Feb 2010

  • In 1989, Andy Bell of Erasure won Best Group and kissed Boy George in protest of the Section 28 Act. The Act, now repealed, said that a local authority "shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality". Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 16 Feb 2010

  • In 2008 Jason Orange was refused re-entry to the event because one of his friends swore at the security guard. They were only allowed back in once Orange contacted the guard's superior. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 16 Feb 2010

  • Before the 2009 Brit Awards, Lady Gaga went for three spray tans in one day. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 16 Feb 2010

  • In 2004, The Darkness thought about performing with a combine harvester onstage before settling for a nautical themed cat-suit for to health and safety reasons. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 16 Feb 2010

  • In 2009, Kylie changed her outfit no less than six times. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 16 Feb 2010

  • In 2009, Seasick Steve was drinking whisky on his way to the Brit Awards and decided to play an impromptu gig for commuters. Pic: PA photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 16 Feb 2010