VO5 NME Awards 2017: The hosts’ funniest moments

From Russell Brand and Bob Geldof's tiff to Jarvis' rounds of 'Catchphrase'

Over the years, some big names have hosted the NME Awards. Back in the ’60s, there was former Bond actor Roger Moore and crooner Roy Orbison. In the ’90s? Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer took the gig a couple of times. And in the ’00s, such luminaries as Russell Brand, Bill Bailey and permanently excited Kiwi radio star Zane Lowe. As the VO5 NME Awards 2017 approach, let’s take a look back at some of the hosts’ funniest moments in recent years.

Russell Brand winding up Bob Geldof

Perhaps one of the most famous NME Awards moments came in 2006 when then rising comedian Russell Brand hosted at Hammersmith Palais. On presenting the award for Best Music DVD to Live 8, Brand invited organiser Bob Geldof to the stage, introducing him as Sir Bobby Gandalf. The former Boomtown Rats man didn’t seem to like that much, opening his acceptance speech by saying: “Russell Brand, what a c**t”. The comedian later hit back: “Really, it’s no surprise he’s such an expert on famine – he has, after all, been dining out on ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ for 30 years.” Good times.

Jarvis Cocker playing Catchphrase with the crowd


Could Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker be the best host the NME Awards has ever seen? Quite possibly. He’s almost definitely the strangest, bringing onstage gymnastics and his own rounds of popular oldies TV show Catchphrase to the O2 Academy Brixton stage. And yet even he managed to bemused that night, turning to the crowd as guest presenters Noel Fielding and Courtney Love left the stage saying: “I guess the lunatics really have taken over the asylum.”

Angelos Epithemiou’s plastic bag

Shooting Stars regular is well-known for taking his plastic bag of shopping everywhere with him and things were no different when he turned up to host the 2011 NME Awards. His running joke of the night was needing to leave because “New Tricks is on the telly”, while he invited his predecessor Jarvis Cocker back for a chat about their very similar wardrobes.

James Corden and Mat Horne dancing with Dizzee Rascal

Before one of them headed off to America to become unfeasibly massive and the other faded into obscurity, Gavin & Stacey co-stars James Corden and Mat Horne took on hosting duties for the 2008 Awards. They kicked things off on the TV broadcast with impressions of bands like Klaxons, The Kooks and Kaiser Chiefs, before entering the Indigo2 to dance and rap with Dizzee Rascal. Bet Roger Moore didn’t have that much fun when he hosted.

Mark Watson opening the 2009 ceremony with a mini-rant about Johnny Borrell

Given the opportunity, wouldn’t you have done the same thing? Watson’s year might not be one of the instant classics we all think of when reflecting on NME Awards hosts, but the shouty comedian scored some early points when he began the 2009 ceremony by ripping into gobby Razorlight frontman Johnny Borrell. While reflecting on the last 12 months’ events, Watson said to cheers: “Johnny Borrell’s Razorlight denied rumours they were about to split, but refused to comment on rumours they’re a bit shit.


“Don’t worry, he won’t be listening. There’s nothing on the TV, nothing on the radio that means that much to him,” he continued, before threatening to get distracted. “It’s sort of a bonus if I get any laughs… he’s just a bit of a twat.” Watch that zinger below.

The VO5 NME Awards 2017 take place on February 15. You can have your say on who wins by voting now. Don’t miss out on all the action on the night either – you can buy tickets to attend the ceremony at London’s O2 Academy Brixton.