Yes folks, being the lovely folk that we are, we thought that rather than making you sit through the 2 hours of inflated ego's, multiple costume changes and wigs galore, we would endure it for you and just bring you the highlights of the evening. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we shall begin…..
1min: Everyone's favourite Sheffield scallywag/Teddy Boy impersonators Arctic Monkeys kick us off with the only song everyone really knows off their latest 'AM' album (admit it, could YOU hum 'No.1 Party Anthem' to your gran?). Alex Turner appears to be dressed like a gay version of 1950s-era Elvis, but the guitarist does have a rather natty blue suit jacket on. One of them appears to have lost the smart-dress memo though, and has turned up in a leather jacket. Christ.
6mins: Oh great, it's the Official Longest Serving Host of The Brits Ever(™) James Cordon. I love that man*. OK I know hosting an awards ceremony like this must be a bit nerve-wracking, but does he have to be such an insufferable knob? An early skit where he pretends not to notice his arm is on fire goes tits up - not by Cordon being totally engulfed in flames, screaming - but with a distinct lack of anyone giving anything approaching the merest fart of a toss from the assembled crowd. Perhaps Cordon ought to just present The Brits in character as Smithy, at least that might be a bit more endurable. He's making us vote for the Best British Video now, but I can't say I like any of those on offer. It's a shame Aphex Twin hasn't had anything out for Chris Cunningham to direct.
* - May not be true.
9mins: Presenting the first Brit tonight is everyone's favourite funk-soul midget, Prince! He's less purple these days, in fact he's dressed in quite a lot of black tonight, with a rather fetching hat on. Cordon, the fame whore that he is, does another agonisingly cheesy skit where he 'interrupts' Prince's intro speech with his backing band, so he can take a 'selfie' with him. Although to be fair I think Prince was about to launch into telling us his entire tour schedule, and that would have been a worse over-run situation than Adele vs. Blur that time. What a fucking arsehole. Best British Female Solo Artist goes to...Ellie Goulding. For fuck's sake. I must admit I downloaded 'Starry Eyed' when it came out, but I grew wise to her turgid pop wares soon enough, and the woman does absolutely nothing for me apart from that song. As Goulding accepts her award, I'm glad Prince scoots off to the side of the stage, shunning her like she's the embodiment of Jimmy Savile or something. I have to say, I do like the Brit trophy this year, minimal black and white offering it is. Coming up after the break: the award for Most Challenging Avant-Garde Techno Album!
14mins: I wonder what everyone does at The Brits during the breaks? Does Cordon do some badly recieved stand up comedy? Do they pipe muzak into the arena to entertain everyone? Knowing Prince's liking of random concerts, he's probably playing a miniscule 4-minute mini-gig for everyone. Although I have to say his new backing band don't have the same visual impact as his old one. Where's Sheila E?
18mins: Welcome back! Fuck the awards, it's time for more music - this time with Katy Perry…at least she's not singing 'Roar', which I think most people have heard on repeat since it was released. Her live performance sees her carried into the arena like bloody Cleopatra, except she's doused in neon shit like she's just come from a Coldplay gig. The backdrop looks like something from 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'. This is a daring choice for playing at an awards show, it's not that immediate a song ('Dark Horse' it's called) and unless it's her new single, it's a bit daunting. The song suffers from having a great crescendo build-up, but then instead of going off the chain, remains rather restrained. Shame. She's still a good looking lass, mind. Brand dropped the ball with this one.
22mins: Cordon jokes he was going to wear Perry's outfit this evening - I bet he was, the pervert. Introducing our next award is the Man with the Midas touch, Pharrell Williams (dressed in what appears to be a wet-look suit) and Kylie. International Male Solo Artist goes to…well, I actually think Timberlake deserves it as I quite liked his last album, but Bruno Mars clinches it. Disappointingly, he doesn't come to the stage with the group of monkeys from his 'Lazy Song' video, but a bunch of cronies who might be the people who wrote his album, wash his car, or feed him his meals.
26mins: We get a highlights package for David Bowie, as he's part of the nominees for the Best Album award. Like we don't know about Bowie. It's good to get a look at the surprise release of 'The Next Day' though, which had everyone shitting themselves with excitement. I bet that won't win. After this, it's time for the British Breakthrough Act. Introducing this is Tinie Tempah and Fearne Cotton, a duo that will surely await you in Hell should you be unlucky enough to get sent there. Unfortunately, the announcement of the nominees doesn't allow Fearne to say: "Gosh...super!". I want Tom Odell to win this one, but Bastille will get this. Oh, actually, bugger Odell, Disclosure are in it too. Yep, Bastille get the nod - it was predictable they'd win something. The man who does the talking for Bastille looks really out of place; he's a lot smaller, chubbier and hairier than the rest of the band...curious.
31mins: Oh look, Cordon is sat with Wand Erection! They've been kept away from any older ladies for obvious reasons, although they look to be getting through the booze pretty well. As they should. The Wand Erectioner sat next to Cordon looks a right barrel of laughs, although I'd feel the same if I had to sit next to that twat. After the break, it's the award for Least Exciting Conceptual Jazz Performer!
33mins: During the break, Cordon nips backstage for an exceedingly well-timed, regimented tension relieving w*nk over some brutal Japanese hentai pornography. Probably. Disappointing lack of commercial-overload adverts for the bands performing at this year's ceremony. I thought we'd have had a Bastille or London Grammar LP ad by now. But no, the most musical commercial we've had was Snoop Dogg (sorry, Lion) in the Money Supermarket one. That's incredible.
37mins: Well hello, do you come here often? Shall we present an award? No, no, no...let's have another live song! It's Bruno Mars!!! Great news if you like him, less so if you think he sucks rancid todgers. Ahh, a mystery has been solved, as it turns out the entourage accompanying Mars on stage to collect his award wasn't his home help or hired bum-wipers, but his backing group. One of them has a trumpet. A fucking huge trumpet. One of the backing singers looks like he's trying to be in Run DMC, although I dig the Heisenberg-style pork pie hat. There's been a disappointing lack of collaborative live appearances so far at this year's ceremony, or even odd cover versions you wouldn't get anywhere else other than The Brits. Mars' performance of 'Treasure' would benefit no end from having Jean-Michel Jarre on laser harp for instance.
41mins: 'I LOVE YOU BRUNO MARS!' - Oh fuck off, Cordon. He tells us about Rudimental, who are also up for Best Album, and we get the obligatory video package for them. I don't think they have much of a hope really, even though I don't mind them and have even seen them live when they supported Plan B in Manchester once. Back to Cords, and to introduce an award is the frankly egotistical Lily Allen, who appears to have come dressed as a 1960s sci-fi prostitute. The gong for Best British group goes to...Arctic Monkeys! At least Wand Erection didn't scoop it, which I thought they might.
46mins: We get a run-down on the Critic's Choice award for 2014, Sam Smith. He's been on more songs than you realise, a bit like Pharrell Williams in some respects. Although only time will tell if he manages to get everyone a No.1 single when he appears on it. There's an advert break coming up, so we all get urged to vote for our favourite video again. Seeing as they're hawking this relentlessly, I'm going for Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith, if only for that fucking weird guy dressed in the cloth outfit. I'm certainly not going to be happy if Goulding wins another award. After the break: the Award for Best Bruce Forsyth Compilation Album!
51mins: I spoke too soon about there being music themed adverts on this show; we've just had one for the actual Brit Award compilation album, which features like 60-odd songs - surely not all of them are nominated for something?? We're back - live - at the o2 Arena. Nobody has so much as got their knob out on stage yet, so things must change in the next hour. Here to present the Global Success Award is everyone's favourite 'Transformers' eye candy, Rosie Huntingdon-Whitely-Smythe-Jenkinson-McPoshbird. There's only one nominee for this trophy: Wand Erection. I guess they win this one by default then, but poor Rosie has to open the envelope she has to find out who the winners are. What, was there the possibility of there being a curve-ball in there like Slayer or something? Curiously, Harry Styles doesn't make it on stage with the rest of the group initially - he SAYS he was having a piss, but I reckon he was having a breathless knee-trembler with someone backstage. Even Cordon latches onto that, so I guess we have something in common.
57mins: Sycophantic lead-in speech to another live performance, this time by Beyonce, doing her new song 'XO'. She dedicates the song to someone, but the mic was really muffled, so much that it sounds like "I dedicate this song to my pervert friends". Surely not. I'm not much of a Beyonce fan if truth be told, and I spent the majority of this song wondering what her and Jay-Z's life is like at home. Do you reckon she tells him off for farting on the sofa, or leaving hairs in the bath? I bet she doesn't. In fact, I reckon they spend most of their time having sex on huge mounds of diamonds while Jay-Z smokes $5000 cigars and records ideas for rap lyrics on his platinum iPad. She does have a nice sparkly dress on, though. I just thought of a great advertising opportunity Beyonce could make use of - if she added an 'O' onto the title of this song, she could have the soundtrack to what is arguably the best brand of gravy mix ever made. Just an idea, Bey. Think it over love and get back to me. As a back up, my missus thought she was singing about 'Esso'. So she could go either way, really.
61mins: I think Cordon has just cum in his pants over Beyonce. Another tired Harry Styles-in-the-bog joke...get over that shit, Cordon. Katy Perry gets up to present an award, and it's good to see she's changed from her neon-Cleopatra get up from earlier. I think her hair is shorter as well, she has more of an Uma-Thurman-in-'Pulp Fiction' bob going on now. This award is for British Single. And the lucky winners are...well, it won't be Disclosure, because I like them, and nobody I like ever wins. Rudimental get it; I thought John Newman might be in with a shout for that one. Although it's strange that 'Get Lucky' or 'Blurred Lines' didn't get nominated - my wife tells me they will probably get included in International Single, if such a category exists.
66mins: Another video package for a Best Album nominee, this time from Arctic Monkeys. It was an OK album, but I just didn't really 'gel' with it for some reason. I quite like the Monkeys, but have to say I prefer the earlier stuff before they got all serious. Cordon is telling Harry Styles off again for his toilet misdemeanours - NO, REALLY CORDON, LET IT GO NOW. IT WAS SORT OF AMUSING AT FIRST, BUT STOP IT NOW. YOU'RE BEING A CUNT. After the break, it's the gong for Most Lucrative Band Reformation!
During the break: Cordon takes Harry Styles off to the o2 Arena toilets after he demands to be shown EXACTLY what he was doing in there, with who, how, and for how long. Appalled, Cordon secretly calls Social Services and advises them a vulnerable member of the older generation is in great danger.
72mins: Welcome back! It's time for more live music, as Disclosure and Lorde take to the stage together for the first (and, if things go downhill, possibly the last) time. Christ, this Lorde looks like Edward Scissorhands tonight (without the scissor-hands, obvs). I thought she might be doing one of Disclosure's tracks, but they are instead acting as Lorde's backing band, essentially. Not sure if I'm feeling this one, it's a bit dour. Thankfully, they heard me and morph the song into Disclosure's 'White Noise' halfway through, which has a bit more zip to it. Although I do prefer their song 'F For You' - that one is class.
77mins: Nice. Another Best Album nominee package coming up, this time for Bastille's 'Bad Blood'. The lead singer from Bastille looks like someone, and I've been punishing myself all evening trying to think who it was, and I've decided he looks like a young Gary Oldman. With fluffier hair, admittedly. I guess they're in with a shout, and the runners all seem fairly close.
79mins: Time for the Best International Group award, introduced by the bloody weird pairing of Cesc Fabregas and Nicole Shitslinger. Daft Punk are in this one, and you'd think would win this hands down, but so are Arcade Fire who I like a lot. Going with the unofficial Brits rules though, neither of these will win. BLOODY HELL - Daft Punk won it! That's never happened before…Nile Rodgers graciously accepts the award on behalf of them, because they're not here tonight. How do they know? Not that many people have seen them without their robot helmets, they might have been the chaps selling hot-dogs at the concession stand. Nile does bang on like he's won the award himself, however.
83mins: Cordon goes and bothers Kylie at her table, and I think she must be pissed because she plants a smacker on Cordon. Nice pan out to show a huge bucket of empty booze bottles - that was right classy. Cordon tells Kylie she's too young for Styles, which I actually thought was quite funny, if a little tame. Another break coming up, and Cordon reminds us that it's absolutely, life-threateningly imperitive that we vote with our fingers and tweet what video from the stunningly short list of nominees we want to see win the Best Video award. I refuse to, because even though I have a Twitter account, I don't understand it at all. Coming up after the break: the Vintage Artist Recognition Award (where people who are quite old, but still rather popular, get a nod - people like Bowie, Springsteen, Bryan Ferry or Rod Stewart; they've all had albums out recently, but not really been recognised for them).
During the break: After Cesc Fabregas' presenting of the last award, he is confronted by an irate group of Arsenal fans in the corridor who 'persuade' him that a move back to the Emirates Stadium would be 'a great career move' for the Spaniard. Or else.
89mins: Welcome back! You'll be sad to know the voting has now closed for the Best Video award…I know, I know...you should have been quicker with the old Twitter. The final package for the Best Album nominees is Disclosure, which came pretty high in the MusicMuso top ten of 2013. A worthy winner if indeed they scoop it.
91mins: More live music? Yeah, why not. Sit back and enjoy a special performance from Ellie Goulding. Or use the time to go and make a cup of tea, have a piss, write that email to your mum, put the cat out, wash the dishes, feed the fish, feed the pony, cut yourself, or just hold your palms flat against your ears so you don't hear Goulding's weird voice worming its way into your consciousness. Unfortunately, I'm contracted to sit through it in case someone throws a used johnny at her or something, which will not happen, because such things are punishable by death after the likes of Cocker and The KLF demeaned the awards in the past. Seriously though, how did a song with the lyrics: 'We can light it up, up, up/So they can't put it out, out, out' get to number one anyway?
95mins: Oh stop encouraging her, she'll only release another bloody album. The next award is for British Male - presenting this one is Noel Gallagher; well that was unexpected. I think Jake Bugg will get this one, I just have a feeling about it. Although Bowie is nominated, it's a token gesture, because nobody over 30 can win a Brit. But bugger me backwards, I'll have to eat my words now because Bowie only went and won it! Of course, Bowie isn't here, he's at home eating bagels. But he has managed to coax Kate Moss into collecting the award for him. Well of course he did. He gets her to read something out about planets and rabbits or something (???) before flouncing off. Erm...
99mins: For a split second I thought Cordon was making an actual bona-fide joke about Nick Grimshaw by calling him 'a useless knob', but no. It was a compliment in disguise; you had to be there for it, but...no. It's 9.40pm as I write this, which must be waaaaay past Nick Grimshaw's bed-time, yet here he is, presenting the award for International Female Solo Artist. And the winner is…Lorde - the one what looks like Edward Scissorhands. She also has a hint of Rebekah Brooks about her. Strange. Lady Gaga was also nominated for this, but I fear her ship has sailed and the hype about her is dying down now. I think we've all worked her out.
102mins: Cordon hangs out with Pharrell and Nile, where he tries to entertain them with wearing a hat similar to the one Nile wore in the video for his 'Happy' song. Cordon asks Pharrell when he's going to have a new song out - patience, lad, creating a new album takes time! When is YOUR new album out, Cordon? In fact, don't answer that. I hope you never release an album. After the break, the award for Most Inappropriate Band Name.
108mins: We're back...surely for the last stretch now. After building it up LITERALLY all night, Jimmy Carr gets the job of telling us who has won the award for the least disappointing video of the year. He gets in a poorly-recieved rib on Simon Cowell about his new baby, which seems a bit harsh. I honestly can't say who will win this video award thingy, because there's not really one that will stand out. Needless to say, I don't think it will be Naughty Boy as I said earlier, but I've been forced to take back several predictions already. But no - the gong goes to Wand Erection for 'Best Song Ever'. Styles hugs Jimmy Carr as they go up to accept the award, and possibly asks him where he can get a hooker who does golden showers in London this time of the evening. Either that or who he recommends for tax advice. Niall from the group is on crutches - I'm not sure why - perhaps Harry had a go at him in the toilets during a break.
113mins: Time for another Brits collaboration on stage, as Rudimental and Bastille join forces in an awkwardly-shoehorned effort that Cordon calls Bastimental. Alternatively, it could be Rudille, but that sounds like a woman's name from 1850s-era mid-West America. For the first part of the song, Rudimental are confined to banging drums like a schools-rendition of 'Stomp!'. At least Bastille weren't allowed to do their fucking awful version of 'Rhythm of the Night' that somehow managed to get to No.1 - bloody hell that was terrible. A woman with hair like a lion and wearing a cat-suit joins Rudimental to do their portion of the performance, which must have taken a lot of talcum powder to get into. Despite seeing this band live, I couldn't tell you what this song is called. This wasn't really two bands working together, more like sharing a stage to cut down on the amount of times Cordon has to introduce bands.
118mins: The last award, naturally, is the Best Album - another one we've been building to all night. Just when we thought we'd got rid of her omnipresence through 2012 and most of last year, Emeli bloody Sande pops up and runs us through the nominees all over again, even though we're fully au fait with them already. I'm sticking with Disclosure for this one, as some of the people I actually like have won things this evening, against my better judgement. Winners are: Arctic Monkeys, who have now won Best Album three times. Someone needs to have a word with Alex Turner and tell him to turn that frown upside down - you've just won the best album of the year, man! Look a bit more amused with the whole thing...instead he regales us with some cryptic bollocks that appears to have lost the rest of his bandmates who shuffle awkwardly behind him, even the one who looks like a fat Jesus.
123mins: Cordon joins Rizzle Kicks (doing the hump), Tom Daley (Splash!) and Labyrinth (umm...is he here with Sande?) at their table, along with some bird in a yellow dress who my wife has just told me was Rita Ora. She runs off halfway through the piece, anyway. Perhaps Cordon just has that effect on people. After the break: Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams do Daft Punk without Daft Punk!
During the break: We finally get a decent music themed advert, as a trailer for Pharrell's new solo album gets an airing, which is so red-hot it doesn't even have a release date yet, however we can all pre-order it from…well, wherever you can pre-order shit from nowadays. Amazon? Your local lending library?
128mins: After two hours plus, we finally get to a musical performance I've actually been waiting for. Thankfully, Cordon has not cut into anyone's speeches this year, and at least this is the last we'll see of him gracing the Brits presenting role. Next year, if we're lucky, we might get someone like Jonathan Ross (!). Pharrell and Nile give us a medley to round things off, consisting of 'Get Lucky', 'Good Times' and 'Happy'. I'm not convinced by Pharrell's get-up he has on however, which makes him look like he's going on safari in fancy dress.
So, was it a vintage year for the Brits? Umm...no, not particularly, but I guess we're not going to recover those hedonistic days of autocue mess-ups and Jacko stage-invasions. It seems the Twittersphere is rife with people verbally castrating Alex Turner for being such a knob, but hey, perhaps he's reached that level of success now where he can afford to be a tosser? There's been plenty of arrogant rock stars through the years, so he won't be the last. Just go with it - he probably knew he was being a cock so he could be all ironic at the abusive tweets and Facebook posts he's generated. Like a baddie in the wrestling, who is basically paid to be a cunt and get people's backs up. It's all part of the show, people.
Words by Pete Muscutt