The Brit Awards, celebrated since 1977 as the best way the UK music industry can give itself a hearty slap on the back and promote its latest in vogue artists and groups, has been tainted, or blessed, with a history in interesting incidents involving 'messiahs', politicians and miniscule dresses, making it one of the most popular awards shows around.

The early days of the Brits, or BPI Awards as they were until 1989, were relatively trouble free, despite being filmed live. This was generally down to the fact that they were mostly filled with industry types and hosted by NOEL EDMONDS. However, this all came to an end in dramatic fashion in 1989 when, hoping to add some more excitement to proceedings, SAM Fox and MICK FLEETWOOD were left to run amuck in what has been frequently described as one of the most shambolic TV productions of all time.

Both the former page three girl and Fleetwood Mac band member continually fluffed their lines, missed cues and engaged in cringe-worthy silences on live air. Other difficulties included introducing Boy George as THE FOUR TOPS ("I'm afraid I'm just the one top") and a pre-recorded message from Michael Jackson failing to make it onto the air.

Nevertheless, the show's producers managed to make the most of a bad situation, utilising the anarchic events of the show as a marketing tool.

And they certainly didn't stop there, as dance act KLF decided to take things to the next level a few years later. After winning the Best British Group award in 1992, the band played a death metal version of a dance song while BILL DRUMMOND fired blanks from a machine gun into the crowd. At the after show party, KLF dumped a dead sheep outside the venue, cementing their demise from The Music industry.

However, one of the most memorable flare-ups in the show's history came in 1996, at the height of Cool Britannia  a time when New Labour was rising and so was the length of SPICE GIRL Geri Halliwell's skirt. At the event, music legend MICHAEL JACKSON was performing a somewhat flamboyant version of EARTH SONG, portraying himself as a 'messiah' surrounded by adoring children, which seemed to infuriate Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker.

Cocker decided the best course of action would be to jump on stage and point his rear end in the direction of Jackson.

Two years later, one-hit wonders CHUMBAWAMBA took similar offence to Labour MP JOHN PRESCOTT turning up to the event, so singer DANBERT NOBACON distributed a bucket of iced water over the politician's head.

Recently, however, the music industry has been content to let many things pass unaired; such is the benefit of pre-recording shows. But in 2000 a battle of words between Oasis and Robbie Williams added yet more spice to the ceremony.

Williams, described by Noel Gallagher as "that fat dance from TAKE THAT", challenged the other Gallagher brother Liam to a fist fight at the awards. Liam, however, was touring in Japan at the time and had to pass.

But anarchic events continue to prove the main highlight behind the UK music industry's favourite awards. And while still pre-recorded, this year's Brits come laden with mouthy popsters such as LILY ALLEN, shambolic musicians such as Pete Doherty, and hosts such as RUSSELL BRAND, suggesting that while the days of Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood's 'car crash' Brits are over, there could still be some fun to come at the Britannias.

07/02/2007 09:48:19