In Depth

Brit Awards 2015: the best and worst bits

From Madonna's tumble to a muted Kanye act, it was a night of falling stars and awkward moments

The 2015 Brit Awards saw Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran collect two gongs each, but Madonna, who took an unrehearsed stage dive while performing, stole the headlines. 

It was a night of rising and falling stars at the O2 Arena in London, in which Ed Sheeran won British Male Solo Artist and British Album of the Year, and Sam Smith snapped up the Global Success Award and British Breakthrough Act.

We look at some of the hits and misses:

Madonna's tumble

In a show-stealing moment towards the end of the evening, Madonna took a dramatic fall down a flight of stairs during her performance of Living For Love. The 56-year-old pop songstress attributed the tumble to her elaborate matador-themed cape being tied too tightly, so that it failed to untie in time for her dancers to rip it away as she climbed the stairs of the stage. Taking it in her stride, Madonna dusted herself off, stood up and mounted the steps again without her cape. In The Guardian, Alexis Petridis commented that if the moment proved anything, "it was that the Brit Awards themselves are substantially less interesting than watching someone fall over".  

Kanye's flaming mime act

Kanye West's headline performance  was almost turned into a mime act when ITV muted half of his song All Day. The spectacular performance featured dozens of extras, several guest rappers and a couple of flamethrowers but, as the Daily Telegraph reports, "viewers at home were left wondering if their televisions were on the blink as the sound kept cutting out, with the song replaced by the murmur of guests' conversation in the O2". An 'Audio Muted' sign in the corner of the screen signalled that ITV bosses were ordering the sound to be turned off because the song repeatedly features the n-word.

Taylor Swift's UK triumph

Rolling Stone praised Taylor Swift's "brilliant opening performance seemingly channelling Cabaret" in her execution of Blank Space, and confirming "her current queen of pop status". Swift accepted her International Female Solo Artist win – her first-ever Brit Award, in typically gracious and enthusiastic Swift style, adding a shout out to Brit star Sheeran: "I wouldn't be up here if it wasn't for one of my best friends who took me to pubs and showed me how to make a nice cup of tea – I love you Ed Sheeran!" 

Ant and Dec's disappearing act

Comedy duo Ant and Dec hosted the awards with mixed success. Metro's Tamara Hardingham-Gill called their performance "a bit on the cringe side" but gave the double act credit for the moment they revealed where they go during the ad breaks. The pair lifted up a tablecloth and climbed underneath a guest's table. Ant then took a bottle of champagne from the table before a female guest sitting there tried to grab it back.

Awkward jokes

In a night of awkward moments, a few jokes stood out for their cringe factor. While presenting the award for International Male Solo Artist prize, Cara Delevingne quipped that she would love to be "the meat" in the Ant and Dec sandwich at the ceremony, raising some titters from the audience. Jimmy Carr also had a moment with model Karlie Kloss on stage, when he joked about sneaking into Madonna's dressing room and finding "a lot of drugs". Carr added that she shouldn't worry because "it's all HRT stuff", leaving Kloss to shake her head.   

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