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Brit Awards

Falls to flashers: Brit Awards most outrageous moments, ranked

Of course Matty Healy is involved


The Brits are back – the biggest and most unpredictable event in British music is upon us once again, promising a night of celebration, great music and questionable moments which will be relentlessly memed in the weeks to come. With performers such as Dua Lipa and Raye, the 2024 line-up is sure to deliver a night to remember – unless, of course, you emulate Harry Styles and drink copious amounts of tequila.

Here’s hoping there’ll at least be a viral controversy to clear the Kate Middleton BBL conspiracies from my twitter timeline. In the meantime, from celebrity feuds to drunken blunders, this is a definitive ranking of the most outrageous moments in Brits history:

Matty Healy smoking under the table – 2017

It’s no surprise everyone’s favourite Taylor Swift rebound made it onto this list. In 2017, 1975 bandmate Ross Macdonald live-streamed the fan-kissing frontman violating the event’s strict no smoking rule under the cover of a tablecloth. After all, how else would he maintain that effortlessly cool Tumblr Doc Martens neon lights aesthetic they’d worked so hard to craft?

Harry Styles’ drunk antics – 2022/2023

Shockingly, Harry Styles was actually sober when he chose the bright yellow suit he donned in 2022 – but of course, this did not last. As Harry sat surrounded by his loved ones and friends, Jack Whitehall caused one of the most awkward moments in recent Brits history when he assumed his sister was a new girlfriend – then tried to relieve the awkwardness by asserting how nice it was that he’d brought his sister to “keep it in the family.”

Of course, the only way Harry could react was by downing straight tequila with Lizzo cheering him on. He opted to replicate this in 2023, getting steadily drunker as the awards for Harry’s House stacked up. Treat yourself king, you deserve it x

Haim mystery drunk woman – 2018

— elle (@elleandthehaims) June 15, 2023

Just an innocent and slightly awkward interview with 2010s power couple Liam and Cheryl, video-bombed by a leery drunk woman winking and mouthing “call me.” Except it’s not just any drunk woman – its Este Haim, and she was completely sober. Twitter fangirled about this iconic illusive hun for the remainder of the ceremony, forcing her to make an apology phone call to the X-factor judge live on radio one the next morning. Luckily they squashed the beef, so a Haim cover of Fight for this Love is still on the table.

Bjork’s speech – 1998

Preceded by a deeply awkward kiss between Honor Fraser and Alexander McQueen, when Icelandic singer songwriter Bjork won the award for International Artist in 1998 nobody could have predicted the citrus-based speech she would deliver. Taking to the stage at a rapid pace, she kept it short and sweet – or sour – as she announced – “I am very grateful… grapefruit.” Speak your truth, queen x

Lizzo and Marvin Humes – 2019

Can someone check on Rochelle Humes? The threat of a Saturdays reunion looming over her, a Love Island influencer sister and her husband being licked by Lizzo. Yes, you read that right: approaching Marvin Humes at the 2019 Brits, Lizzo proceeded to call him a “f*ckboy”, flirt aggressively and lean in for a hug which somehow became a face lick. Rumour has it she still sometimes listens to Everybody in Love and thinks about what might have been.

Alex Turner… being Alex Turner – 2014

Following Arctic Monkey’s win for AM in 2014, Alex Turner could not have looked more fuming. With all the mystery of The Unknown from the Glasgow Wonka Experience, the band took to the stage to deliver a speech which served pretentiousness in spades: “that rock and roll, eh? That rock and roll, it just won’t go away.” Concluding with a mic drop and an instruction to invoice him for it, Turner left the stage safe in the knowledge that his face would grace Tumblr dashboards for another year.

Madonna takes a tumble – 2015

We all knew this was coming, but it would be impossible to make this list and not include this iconic moment. Seriously, imagine being the dancer who yanked pop icon and all-round diva Madonna down the stairs by her Armani cape. BRUTAL.

No women nominated for best artist – 2023

In 2022, the Brits committee made the decision to merge its awards, no longer awarding individually gendered prizes. In 2023 – with this measure put in place specifically to platform minority gender identities – they exclusively nominated men for artist of the year. Harry Styles took the prize, thanking his family and ex-bandmates before dedicating it to the long list of snubbed women including “Rina, Charli, Florence, Mabel and Becky”. That misogyny, eh? That misogyny, it just won’t go away.

Sadie Pinn photobombs Ant and Dec – 2016

Presenting the Brits in 2016 probably just felt like another day’s work for presenting pros Ant and Dec: that is, until they were interrupted by Sadie Pinn, donning black thigh high boots and a see-through catsuit that had the editors scrambling for a censor. Gliding up to them like the O2 was her own personal catwalk, the model had everyone’s favourite Geordie duo momentarily distracted – probably by the Ofcom complaints they could already feel trickling in.

Jarvis Cocker storms the stage – 1996

All seemed normal for the first few minutes of Michael Jackson’s Brits slot: a self-indulgent and very slightly pretentious performance in which images of starving children were projected onto a stage filled with young dancers, most of whom were seemingly worshipping the king of pop to the sound of Earth Song.

Or at least, that’s what it was until Jarvis Cocker turned it into more of a moon song, flashing his behind and gesturing at MJ in protest against his “Jesus act”. He was detained and jailed until the early hours of the following morning following accusations that he had injured some of the starving child actors in his attempt to shut down Jackson’s strange decision to hold Easter mass a few weeks early on the Brits stage. Free Jarvis I guess x

Recommended stories by this writer:

From musical upbringing to drugs battle: Inside Raye’s turbulent life and defiant comeback

Everything you need to know about Roman Kemp’s long and winding dating history

Remembering the 15 most iconic Brits moments of all time