Brit Awards 2017: Romesh Ranganathan Makes Diversity Quip While Giving Award For Best Group

Last year's awards proved to be controversial.

Romesh Ranganathan took the chance to reference the diversity row that engulfed last year’s Brit Awards as he presented a gong at the 2017 ceremony.

In a move that is bound to cause embarrassment to Brits bosses, the comedian brought up the controversy as he appeared on stage at during the show at The O2 Arena in London on Wednesday (22 February).

Romesh, who was handing out the award for Best British Group alongside ‘Game Of Thrones’ star Maisie Williams, quipped: “Maisie’s here because she’s a star, and I’m here because they heard I listen to grime and they’re trying to over compensate for last year.”

Romesh Ranganathan presented an award with Maisie Williams
Romesh Ranganathan presented an award with Maisie Williams

Last year, just four of the 48 nominees were BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) artists, which prompted some to question whether that academy who picks the nominees had a racial bias.

As a result of the backlash , the voting academy was overhauled for 2017, with a concerted effort to ensure the list reflects the UK’s diverse music scene.

Grime artist Skepta led the 2017 nominations alongside Little Mix, with three nods, while other BAME artists including Kano, Stormzy, Nao and Lianne La Havas found themselves nomintated in the Best Male and Female categories.

Michael Kiwanuka was nominated for Best British Solo Male
Michael Kiwanuka was nominated for Best British Solo Male
Anthony Harvey via Getty Images

Best British Male and Album Of The Year nominee Michael Kiwanuka praised the move in an interview with BBC Newsbeat earlier this year, stating: “This is a dream come true and the increase in diversity is a great thing.

“The importance of diversity is that’s what music is. It shows you another viewpoint of how you think in your head and it makes you see the world differently.

“It’s not just about the colour of your skin, but it’s part of it.”

For all the winners from this year’s Brits click here.

Brit Awards Red Carpet 2017


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