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Brit Awards 2013

Emeli SandeThe problem with the Brit Awards is not that it is a mawkish celebrity ego-trip, catering exclusively for the aesthetically agreeable stooges of the record company leviathans and confirming that successful acts have indeed been very successful; nor that it is presented by a fat, ugly cockney.

No, it’s neither of those things. I actually felt quite attracted to James Corden this year. Rather, the problem with the ‘Brits’ is its nauseatingly boorish choice of sponsor.

I mean, really, of all the credit card companies out there the British Phonographic Industry might have chosen for its showpiece event, MasterCard could not be a more tasteless choice.

The Brits are supposedly all about celebrating the enduring success and pan-global appeal of Britain’s most charismatic and sexually active recording artists, right?

So would someone care to explain what a tired old payment-processing American behemoth like MasterCard has in common with such a zesty ideal of virulent youth, exactly?

May I speculate, perhaps, that MasterCard’s sponsorship of an awards show which frequently fails to recognise – censors, even – hidden and emerging talent, is a subtle reference to its withdrawal of service to the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks?

Despite this outrage, I had quite a good time last night, sat at the O2 Arena, in my trench coat and floppy hat, drinking champagne, eating canapés and ogling waiters.

I had been invited this year to the Brits courtesy of my new, elevated status within the music industry. And boy, there was no censoring me.

One Direction, you can take a detour through my bedroom anytime you like.

Mumford and Sons, I’ll be your sugar daddy all night long.

Ben Howard, I don’t care who you are, I just want to ruffle your coconut-scented hair.

As for Robbie and Justin, you both know how I feel, you’ve read my letters.

Just one other bone of contention, though, I’m afraid. MasterCard British Album of the Year, Our Version Of Events? By Emeli Sandé?

Well I’ll give you my version of events, MasterCard. The Brits judges decided to give their biggest prize to Emeli Sandé, not because it is a sublimely crafted masterpiece, but because they had to cover their tracks.

Last year’s best album winner, Adele, had her speech censored. Nothing unusual there. It’s MasterCard’s stock-in-trade. But what they didn’t figure was the outrage it would cause. The criticism damaged their brand.

So, what did they do? They decided to give the 2013 award to another 20-something singer-songwriter called Adele. Adele Emeli Sandé Gouraguine; stage name, Emeli Sandé.

In other words, they rigged it so that, in future, the Brits judges could claim they “gave Adele all the time she needed for her best album acceptance speech”.

And if you don’t believe me, ask yourself this: What possible motive could I have for implicating the Brit Awards in a rigging scandal?

As a Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize judge, I pride myself on honesty, fairness and trust. So I don’t say this lightly.

The Brit Awards are a scam. A shameless, unmitigated fraud.

And, just like the way Barclays is promising to compensate all its gullible customers who were mistakenly sold our fraudulent Payment Protection Insurance, I want my refund.

I want to be fully and completely compensated for every penny that was spent on my attendance at the Brits last night. The champagne, the canapés, the offence I was caused by having to watch Olly Murs.

I want my money back. All of it. So make the transfer, MasterCard.

You can pay half to my business account in the Cayman Islands, and the other half to my joint account with Jimmy Carr in Luxembourg.



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