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Brit Awards: Sam Fox And Mick Fleetwood Cause A Very Brit-ish Fiasco, Back In 1989

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Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood presented the Brit Awards in 1989 - a night to be remembered...
Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood presented the Brit Awards in 1989 - a night to be remembered...

While we're waiting for James Corden to take to the stage for tomorrow's night's Brits bash at London's O2, let's indulge ourselves in a walk down memory lane to a music night in 1989 that will not soon be forgotten by anyone who ever witnessed it...

Who were they?
Mick Fleetwood was, and is, the popular drummer and co-creator of rock band Fleetwood Mac. The only musician to remain with Fleetwood Mac throughout its many incarnations, he is credited with keeping the band together in one form or another, despite creative disputes and romantic complications between the various members through more than four decades of playing together. The band's album Rumours has sold more than 40m copies worldwide, making it one of the top 10 best-selling albums of all time.

Sam Fox was the glamour model who was the youngest ever Page Three model at the age of 16 and, three years later, successfully transformed her buxom appeal into a pop music career, with Touch Me (I Want To Feel Your Body) going to number one in 17 countries. She sold 30m albums in total.

What happened?
Some bright spark thought this was a natural pairing that would unite the fans. But that same enterprising producer had reckoned without the demands of a live broadcast, a whole load of 'Brosettes' at the front of the audience crowding out everything else with their screams, a stuck autocue according to Fox, the star presenters' combined lack of inexperience ad-libbing in front of an audience and... get this... the HEIGHT DIFFERENCE. What???

Well, nobody had factored in, perhaps understandably, the 16" chasm between Fleetwood's long-in-the-leg 6'5", and Fox's top-heavy 5'1", which meant one camera had to hover nervously somewhere around the middle of them, catching most of Mick's tummy and trouser-top, and skimming the top of Our Sam's head, not generally the bit of her most recognisable to viewers.

It was a bun fight. Guests appeared at the wrong time, the wrong winners were announced, Michael Jackson's acceptance videotape got forgotten altogether, so nothing that year for Jarvis Cocker to bare his bum at, sadly. Fox tried gamely to salvage the situation, yelling "Woo! Woo!" into the microphone at irregular intervals. It looked like something that Victoria Wood might have dreamed up for Acorn Antiques. It was an undiluted shambles of a night.

Where are they now?
A longtime resident of the US, Fleetwood became a citizen of the country in 2006. He has continued to perform, either with Fleetwood Mac on a much-heralded reunion tour, with others, including an Amnesty International Compilation album in 2007, or with his own Mick Fleetwood Band. He has a secondary career as a supporting actor, even appearing in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Sam Fox continues to perform her music in concert around the world, as well as appearing on a catalogue of reality programmes, from 2009's I'm A Celebrity to Celebrity Wife Swap and even The Club, where various celebs turned their hand to running a night club.

Postscript?
As a direct result of what viewers were subjected to on this highly-regarded evening of pop, the Brit Awards were pre-recorded for the next 18 years. They are now back to being broadcast live to the public, so we can continue to dream once more of another such fiasco. Everyone is very slick, savvy and media-trained these days, so the chances are much smaller than they were when Mick Fleetwood and Sam Fox bound onto the stage in such enthusiastic fashion, but we can always hope...

Here's a little reminder:

Around the Web

Brit Awards - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Samantha Fox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Brit Awards 1989 Part One - YouTube

Brit Awards 1989 Part Five - YouTube

Brit Awards

Sam Fox: 'I wanted the floor to swallow me up' | Music | guardian.co.uk