Rumours that the industry is unhappy at the decision to give the award to the rockers have been categorically denied...

Rumours that U2 may be blocked from securing the OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO BRITISH MUSIC prize at next year’s BRIT AWARDS because they are IRISH have been categorically denied by a spokesperson for the ceremony.

“It is 100% definite they will get it,” he said. “And we are absolutely delighted that despite a punishing schedule they will be there on the night.”

Several reports in the UK press and on the Internet had suggested rumblings of discontent amongst senior British music executives unhappy at a perceived snub of British acts for what is in essence the industry’s blue ribbon gong.

The spokesperson said that, regardless of their nationality, U2 had done much for the global advancement of British music, right from the beginning of their career.

He added: “Very early in their career they made London their base. They lived and worked in the city for years. They signed to a British independent label, Island, and helped turn it into a leading brand.”

U2 will perform live at the ceremony in London’s Earl Court on February 21. The show, hosted by UK youth television presenters Ant & Dec, will be broadcast on the ITV network the following night.