Right now, BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens will be dusting off his suit and settling the nerves ahead of hosting the VO5 NME Awards 2017. It’s a gig he’s done for the last four years, expertly holding the night together amid all the chaos. We caught up with him ahead of the big night to chat about how he prepares and his favourite moments over the years.
How are you feeling about hosting this year? Do you get nervous after having done it for a few years?
Huw: “I always get excited and nervous before it. It’s always a great night and it’s always amazing to see a lot of brilliant artists in the same room.”
What do you remember of the first time you hosted the NME Awards in 2014?
“Just being kind of awestruck by people like Damon Albarn in the room. Being able to see so many amazing bands play and standing on stage watching the audience, it’s an amazing thing. It was just a big pleasure to be there.”
Do you still get awestruck four years in?
“Oh yeah! I met Paul McCartney on stage and that was just unbelievable. It’s always exciting and it’s always a great night, and you never know what’s going to happen. Like with Bring Me The Horizon last year.”
How do you prepare for hosting the NME Awards?
“I have a beard trim, I eat some chicken and I have a little drink. We have a little run through and you follow the awards news. You find out who’s won a few days before, but it’s quite chilled really.”
What’s your favourite moment from the years you’ve hosted?
“My favourite moment was when Paul McCartney won the Songwriter’s Songwriter award and you could just feel the love in the room that night.”
What are you most looking forward to this year?
“This year I’m most looking forward to Wiley getting the Outstanding Contribution To Music award. The Godfather of grime and a proper music legend. I think it’s brilliant that he’s getting the award and I’m looking forward to seeing him play live.”
Is there anyone in particular that you’re rooting for to win?
“I have no say in who wins, but I know music will win on the night.”
The VO5 NME Awards takes place at London’s O2 Academy Brixton tonight (February 15). You can grab the last few tickets for the ceremony online until 3pm today or on the door tonight.