British rockers THE Kaiser Chiefs insist they were destined to miss out on the Mercury Music Prize last night (06SEP05) after being made favourites to win.

British bookmakers William Hill tipped the group to win the award - exclusively for British acts and one of Britain's most prestigious music prizes - with odds of 4-1.

The I PREDICT A RIOT band even bet on themselves, placing a $3.60 (GBP2) stake.

Frontman RICKY WILSON says, "We thought being the favourites was probably a curse.

"It was great to be nominated and hard to believe that this time last year I was working in a bar and we weren't even signed."

The award and $36,000 (GBP20,000) prize was given to Antony and the Johnsons for their album I AM A BIRD NOW, at the ceremony held at London's Grosvenor House Hotel.