Russell Brand is to host next year's Brit Awards, which will be broadcast live on TV for the first time in 18 years.

Ceremonies have been recorded and screened later since 1989's chaotic show, which was hosted by former page three girl Samantha Fox and Fleetwood Mac's Mick Fleetwood and involved numerous fluffed lines and embarrassing mistakes.

Brand, an award-winning comedian who recently landed his own Friday night chat show, has promised to give an outrageous performance.

He told the Sun newspaper: "I will do my level best to tear it up. Once it starts it is all in my hands. It is going to be like The Rock and roll Brits of old, returned to the controlled mayhem and danger.

"I am going to be the ringleader at this carnival of mayhem and I'm really looking forward to it."

Explaining his decision to take part in the event, he added: "They said it would be live and a potentially explosive event and I thought that sounded interesting. A live, revived, rejuvenated and more exciting rock and roll Brit Awards is the kind of thing I want to get involved with."

"It is the biggest gig going in the UK for someone in my job. I'm flattered to be asked."

Peter Jamieson, co-chairman of the Brits committee, said: "British music is in one of its most exciting phases with new British talent shining both at home and abroad, so what better time to take the show live?"

The awards ceremony will be held at Earls Court on February 14th. Oasis are set to receive the outstanding contribution to music honour, while the bands and singers nominated for the night's other awards will be announced in January.

04/12/2006 13:53:11