Backstage Observations From the BRITS 2008

The Osbournes as hosts were…eh. (The usually tart Sharon was surprisingly banal. If there was any night that called for Bitchy Sharon Osbourne, it was this one.) And they didn’t even do the red carpet. Shame.

Amy Winehouse…Worked. It. Out. Best televised performance I’ve ever seen her do. I was so happy for her that I was hugging myself.

Arctic Monkeys actually showed up. Instead of behaving themselves like industry shills, they got deliriously wasted and mocked the whole ceremony during their two acceptance speeches. They provided the humor and spontaneity that you never see on U.S. awards shows anymore.

Take That are much more interesting with their kit off.

James Blunt is tiny and a bit squinty. Like maybe he forgot his eyeglasses.

David Tennant is tiny but effortlessly charming.

Kylie Minogue is tiny and in amazing shape.

Sir Paul McCartney is tiny, but he seriously brought down the house with his performance.

Shayne Ward is bite-sized.

Rihanna is tall.

Lulu, who turns 60 this year, has the body of a 20-year-old.

Mark Ronson is extremely soft-spoken and a tremendously gentle guy.

James Righton of Klaxons, with his unnaturally blue eyes, is so mesmerizingly gorgeous that I almost went in for a kiss when I interviewed him. Certainly the quickest way of getting thrown off the red carpet, but, in that moment, it would have been worth it.

Righton’s bandmate Jamie Reynolds spent the entire evening behaving as if he’d been recently stricken with cerebral palsy.

I flirted shamelessly with Editors frontman Tom Smith and probably creeped him out a bit. He walked away from me looking slightly unnerved and frightened.

Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes and Jekyll star Michelle Ryan are two of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen up close.

Leona Lewis is beautiful, but like Corinne Bailey Rae, she answers each question as if she’s a contestant in the Miss America Pagaent. She looked amazing, though, in her Roberto Cavalli gown.

If the singing thing doesn’t work out, Kelly Rowland could have a booming career as an ostrich.

Newton Faulkner just exudes warmth and kindness. His handshakes are almost like embraces.

I was disappointed that Girls Aloud didn’t do the red carpet, but given Cheryl Cole‘s recent humiliation in the press, I understood it.

Kate Nash looked as fabulous as ever in a pink, vintage, Jackie O.-esque gown. Sweet girl, too. It sucks that her boyfriend, Ryan Jarman of The Cribs, was off on tour; they would have looked great on the red carpet together.

Irwin Sparkes, lead singer of The Hoosiers, has a hot little body.

Stay tuned…the red carpet interviews I conducted will be posted soon. I’ll be on holiday in Berlin for the next few days; Anglophenia will return on Thursday, February 28th.

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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