Here comes The BRIT Awards 2023

The BRIT Awards 2023 (ITV, 8.30pm)
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Mo Gilligan is no stranger to Saturday night music shows – he can currently be found trying to work out who is hiding under various elaborate disguises on The Masked Singer. Tonight though, he’s also taking charge of another, very different show as he hosts the BRIT Awards 2023.

Luckily, Gilligan should know the ropes as he also presented last year’s ceremony and is very glad to be back. He says: “Hosting the BRITs last year was one of the most phenomenal moments of my life. I’ve been so honoured to get to know the incredible team behind the biggest night in music and so proud to bring our amazing audiences even closer to their favourite artists. I promise you, we’re going to go even bigger this year… Let’s go!”

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He’s not the only person making a return appearance. Among the performers this year is Lewis Capaldi, who says: “Last time I played The BRIT Awards I was so scared that I had a panic attack before I went on, and then got hammered afterwards. Looking forward to more of the same this year.”

Hopefully it will take some of the pressure off Capaldi to know there are plenty of other stars in the line-up tonight. Harry Styles, Lizzo, Stormzy, Sam Smith and Kim Petras, Wet Leg, Cat Burns, and David Guetta with Ella Henderson and Becky Hill are all due to perform.

That might not be the only time some of them take to the stage, as many of the acts are also in contention for awards.

Boyband member-turned-international solo sensation Styles and indie favourites Wet Leg lead the pack with four nominations each, although they’ll only go head-to-head for Best Album. Stormzy and Burns are hot on their heels with three, while Smith and Lizzo have two. Guetta is in the running for Best International Song, while Hill has been nominated for Best Dance.

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Other acts who have picked up multiple nominations include Aitch, Arctic Monkeys, Beyoncé, Dave, Ed Sheeran, Eliza Rose, Nova Twins and Taylor Swift.

While that’s an eclectic list, there has been some backlash about the nominations this year, most centring on the fact that, after scrapping the Best British Female and Male Solo Artist categories last year in favour of a gender-neutral category, the 2023 British Artist of the Year nominees are all men.

A spokesperson for the awards admitted this was disappointing, but said: “We also have to recognise that 2022 saw fewer high-profile women artists in cycle with major releases as was the case in 2021…”

“[I]f, over time, a pattern emerges, then this puts the onus on the industry to deal with this important issue – and the BPI is already carrying out a major study to identify barriers that may inhibit more women becoming successful in music, so that there can be solutions that result in meaningful change.”

Will that be the only controversy tonight, or will it be another incident that gets viewers talking? After all, it wouldn’t be the BRITs without a few surprises.