ENTERTAINMENT

Brit Awards 2017: 20 Moments That Defined The History Of The Brits

From Samantha Fox's presenting fiasco to Madonna taking a tumble.

21/02/2017 18:15 GMT | Updated 22/02/2017 06:56 GMT

Wardrobe malfunctions, political statements and shocking celebrity feuds, the Brits stage has seen them all over the past 40 years, with a plethora of iconic pop culture moments taking place at the annual awards ceremony.

We’ve rounded up the good, the bad and, indeed, the ugly for you, and hand-picked our 20 most memorable Brit Awards moments...

  • Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood Host The Show (1989)
    Eugene Adebari/REX/Shutterstock
    It's been almost 30 years, and we're still puzzled as to exactly who though that teaming up two completely unrelated non-presenters to host one of the UK's biggest awards shows was a good idea.

    The excruciating evening was dogged with mix-ups with guests, autocue fails and jokes that went down like lead balloons.

    All in all, not a great night, but it still went down in Brits history, which is surely something, right?
  • Andy Bell makes a subtle protest (1989)
    After Erasure won Best British Group, frontman Andy Bell kissed presenter Boy George on the cheek, a subtle move by today's standards, but one that he claimed was a deliberate action against Section 28, introduced the previous year.
  • Michael Jackson's performance gets an uninvited guest (1996)
    The King Of Pop performed at the Brits just once in his career, and given what happened in 1996, it's no surprise he decided never to come back.

    While performing 'Earth Song', Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker stormed the stage and pointed his bum at MJ, before being removed by security.

    He later claimed he'd been upset by the pop icon's choice to make himself appear Christ-like during the performance.

    After the show, Jarvis was arrested - and subsequently released without charge - as he was accused of hurting three of the children on stage. Drama!
  • What is Tony Blair doing at the Brit Awards?
    What seems like a strange move looking back, David Bowie chose the then-leader of the opposition Tony Blair to welcome him to the stage, when he was awarded Outstanding Contribution in 1996.
  • Geri Halliwell's dress becomes immediately iconic (1997)
    Alan Davidson / Silverhub/REX/Shutterstock
    The legend goes that Geri and her sister made her infamous Union Jack dress with a tea-towel, adding a peace sign on the back so as not to offend anyone.

    The iconic garment went on to sell for a record-breaking £41,320 at an auction.
  • John Prescott gets a soaking (1998)
    PA
    Proving perhaps that politics and pop really don't mix, when the then Labour Cabinet Minister attended the 1998 bash, indie band Chumbawamba thought they'd let him know exactly how they felt about him getting an invite by throwing a bucket of iced water over the MP.

    Despite the fact the record label apologised, the band were unrepentant, saying: "If John Prescott has the nerve to turn up at events like the Brit Awards in a vain attempt to make Labour seem cool and trendy, then he deserves all we can throw at him."
  • Robbie Williams vs. Liam Gallagher (2000)
    They'd already been swapping insults in the press for a while, but things between Robbie and Liam reached a head at the Brits in 2000.
  • Brandon Block vs. Ronnie Wood (2000)
    That very same year, Ronnie Wood was presenting Best Soundtrack when suddenly he was interrupted by confused DJ (and future 'Celebrity Big Brother' walker) Brandon Block, who had been jokingly informed by his friends he'd won an award.

    After Ronnie called him a "c***" for interrupting, the two squared up, drinks were thrown and security were called.

    It was all super awks, to be honest.
  • Cat Deeley declares: 'Rock is back!' (2004)
    PA
    Largely inspired by the success of The Darkness, Cat Deeley opened the Brits in 2004 with a bold declaration about the return of rock music.

    Interesting, given that performers on the night included 50 Cent, Missy Elliott and... Dido.
  • Joss Stone raises eyebrows with her "jokes"... and accent (2007)
    Admittedly, she'd been off the scene for a little while by the time she hit the stage to present Best British Male at the 2007 Brits, but last we checked, she was from Devon?

    She also created a stir for her tribute to Robbie Williams, as well as her joke about Russell Brand's past rehab stint.
  • Russell Brand divides viewers (2007)
    ITV/Rex/Shutterstock
    He was always going to be a controversial choice, but Russell's jokes about the war in Iraq and the queen's (his words) "naughty bits" definitely weren't for everyone, sparking more than 300 Ofcom complaints.

    It didn't exactly hurt his career, though, and a year later he was brought in to host the MTV VMAs, which he repeated a year later.
  • Sharon Osbourne vs. Vic Reeves (2008)
    She'd been (surprisingly) on her best behaviour all night, but Sharon lost her patience when Vic Reeves struggled with the autocue while presenting the biggest award of the night.

    Despite being blasted as a "pisshead" and a "drunk bastard", Vic later insisted he hadn't been drinking.

    As if that wasn't enough, the Arctic Monkeys hit out at the Brits school in their speech, which was eventually cut from broadcast.
  • Peter Kay vs. Liam Gallagher (2010)
    Your dad's favourite stand-up comedian Peter Kay might seem like an odd choice to host the Brits, but he was actually responsible for one of its most rock n' roll moments of the past decade.

    When Liam Gallagher defiantly threw his Brit into the crowd - having already snubbed brother Noel in his acceptance speech - the 'Phoenix Nights' star put him down with a simple "what a nobhead".

    Not the wittiest of lines, but effective all the same.
  • Adele proves why you don't rush a superstar (2013)
    Best British Album is the category every UK artist wants to win at the Brits, so it's understandable that Adele would want to soak up the moment.

    Sadly for host James Corden, this meant her speech could have run into Blur's performance, and as he tried to hurry her along, a frustrated Adele wound up flipping the bird before leaving the stage.
  • Harry Styles almost misses One Direction's Global Success Award (2014)
    In 2013, the Brits faced a backlash for the introduction of the Global Success award, which some suggested was just a ploy to give 1D a prize on the night.

    A year later, they won in the same category, though most of their acceptance speech was conducted as a four-piece, as Harry Styles was preoccupied in the lavatory at the time.
  • Kate Moss accepts David Bowie's award (2014)
    Bowie was the recipient of Best British Male in 2014, but specifically picked Kate Moss to accept it on his behalf, sporting aone of his most famous outfits.

    She also read out a statement, in which he thanked his supporters and addressed the ongoing debate about Scottish independence.
  • Alex Turner gets some stuff off his chest (2014)
    When Arctic Monkeys won Best Album in 2014, frontman Alex Turner left us all baffled with his odd "that rock and roll, eh?" acceptable speech.

    This ended in him telling Brits bosses, "invoice me for the microphone," before dropping it on the floor and walking off.
  • Kanye West keeps the Brit Awards censors busy for five minutes (2015)
    Yeezus blessed the Brits audience in 2015 with a debut performance of a new track, 'All Day'. Sadly for viewers at home, much of it was censored (though not enough for some, who complained about the language regardless).
  • Madonna falls down some stairs during 'Living For Love' performance (2015)
    Will we ever be able to watch this without cringing?

    Probably not, no.
  • Sadie Pinn crashes Ant and Dec's presenting spot (2016)
    Still, despite the model's sudden appearance - and her eye-catching outfit - the boys barely broke a sweat.

    Such pros.
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