Bowie and Little Mix win big, a Wham! tribute to George Michael and Adele’s global domination is confirmed: The Brits 2017 round-up


The night saw performances from some of the music industry’s biggest stars, awards for some old timers  and a few upsets along the away.

Little Mix opened the show, carried in on thrones like the queens of pop they are. Performing Shoutout To My Ex flanked by 70-plus dancers in what could be described as Michael and Janet in Scream meets Gaga in space via RuPaul’s Drag Race, they raised the roof right off the O2 before ascending up out of it on a hydraulic lift.


Bruno Mars crooned his way through That’s What I Like in a super-smooth performance that seemed to win over a crowd of baying ladies, despite him being dressed as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.



Emeli Sande was accompanied by a troupe of contemporary, martial-arts style dancers as she did what she does best. She delivered a dramatic version on her latest track Hurts, and perhaps surprisingly, gave one of the stand-out performances of night.

The 1975 gave a somewhat erratic performance of The Sound. Critics’ reviews of the band flashed on screen throughout with barbs such as “totally lacking the wow factor” and “Is this a joke?” The irony may have been a little lost. Although, choir in tow, the boys still managed to delight the crowd.


Katy Perry’s rendition of new tune Chained to the Rhythm had all the charisma of the cardboard houses and giant skeleton that shared her stage. The sound team were working overdrive a la Kanye in 2015 with an expletive-ridden performance from Skepta. The grime song was supposed to be in defence of the genre’s bad reputation but with a mostly muted turn, the message got lost in translation.


Coldplay teamed up with EDM hot shots Chainsmokers to debut their collaboration, Something Just Like This, in the psychedelic setting we’ve come to expect from the band. Man of the moment Ed Sheeran also took to the stage with not only one, but both of his recent singles, Castle on the Hill and Touch, the latter featuring a guest appearance by Stormzy.


It was a mixed bag with regards to the awards themselves, with some old pros bagging awards as well as some unexpected wins.

Sande, who last year returned to the pop fold with second album Long Live The Angels, beat out relative unknowns Nao, Anohni and Lianne La Havas and veteran Ellie Goulding to bag Best British Female. She sweetly took her sister Lucy up to the podium to collect the gong, dedicating it to her in the process.

The 1975, who last year scored number one albums on both sides of the Atlantic, deservedly beat Little Mix, Bastille, Biffy Clyro and Radiohead to British Band. Lead singer encouraged anyone with a platform to speak out and to “not stay in your lane.” David Bowie was given British Male in a no-contest category with Craig David, Kano, Skepta and Michael Kiwanuka. Michael C. Hall, who is starring in the Bowie musical Lazarus, accepted the posthumous award on the singer’s behalf.

British Breakthrough went to Rag n Bone Man, aka Rory Graham, who had earlier been awarded the Critic’s Choice award for 2017. He thanked his fans for the award in a touching speech and was genuinely buzzing to be gaining momentum, despite being “ten years deep” into his career.

One of the biggest awards of the night, British Single, went to Shoutout To My Ex by Little Mix, beating out big hitters like Zayn’s Pillowtalk and the unshakeable Rockabye by Clean Bandit. The moment echoed girl band predecessors Girls Aloud’s winning moment for the same award back in 2008. It was a hard-earned battle for the four-piece, previously topping charts around the world and breaking records set by a little-known pop group called The Spice Girls in the past few years.


Other big winners of the night included Drake, for International Male, Beyonce for International Female and in a big upset, A Tribe Called Quest for Internation Group. Adele bagged the Global Success gong but couldn’t attend the ceremony, so thanked fans via video message.



Following Adele’s tribute to the late George Michael at the Grammys earlier this month, Brits organisers also paid homage. George’s Wham! Bandmates Andrew Ridgley, Shirlie Kemp and Helen ‘Pepsi’ DeMacque gave a beautiful speech about their beloved friend, recalling the beginnings of the band and their relationship. They talked about his talent, his heart and his great kindness. “Anyone who asked for George’s help invariably got it.” The ladies of Wham! broke down in tears as they spoke. “I loved him,” said Andrew. “And in turn, we, you – have been loved.” Chris Martin gave a performance of A Different Corner, duetting with a video recording of the man himself. A lovely touch.

Robbie Williams closed proceedings with Heavy Entertainment Show/Love My Life and delivered a typically showy performance befitting the most decorated artist in Brits history. It wasn’t a vintage year, but it was better than it’s been in a long time – probably, since Williams was last on the stage.

Full list of winners:

British Female – Emeli Sande

British Male – David Bowie

British Group – The 1975

International Male – Drake

International Female – Beyonce

International Group – A Tribe Called Quest

British Single – Shoutout to My Ex, Little Mix

British Artist Video of the Year – History, One Direction

Mastercard British Album –

Global Success – Adele

Photos: Lia Toby, WENN, David Fisher, Shutterstock, REX, Matt Cossick, Empics Entertainment, ITV, Joel Ryan, Invision, AP, Jonathan Lipinski, BBC


WATCH: James Corden takes on Neil Patrick Harris in a Broadway riff-off


Both have hosted the Tony Awards, performed on the Tony Awards – hell, both have won Tony Awards. But last night, on The Late Late Show, host James Corden and Neil Patrick Harris went toe-to-toe in a Broadway-inspired sing-off.

Tackling hits from shows like Guys and Dolls, Chicago, Hedwig and the Angry Inch (for which Patrick Harris garnered his award) and current Broadway super-hit Hamilton, the pair were accompanied by a cappella group The Filharmoni and had every theatre geek in the land FREAKING out.

Patrick Harris, who will next to be seen in Netflix’s adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events, won Best Lead Actor in a Musical at the 2014 awards, whilst Corden won Best Lead Actor in a Play for One Man, Two Guvnors two years prior.

Watch the video below:

WATCH: James Corden and co do Carpool Karaoke – Christmas style


It wouldn’t be Christmas without a sing-along and James Corden has taken his Carpool Karaoke to heights even Mariah Carey’s head voice would struggle to reach.

The latest clip, part of Corden’s US talk show The Late Late Show, features a slew of past guests singing All I Want For Christmas (Is You) including the song’s originator Mariah, as well as Adele, Chris Martin, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Lady Gaga, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Gwen Stefani and Elton John. It’s the most star-studded edition of the British talk show host’s popular segment yet. It begins with Corden asking Carey, who is currently performing in her holiday-themed show at the Beacon Theatre in New York, what the best gift she could receive would be. “I want you sing my song!” she tells him, before launching into one of her biggest hits.

It also tops of a stellar year for the host, having hosted the Grammys, Brits and the Tonys, starring in films Trolls and Norm of the North and being outed as quite possibly the nicest man in showbiz.

Watch the video below:

From supermarkets to Heathrow Airport – Our pick of the best Christmas ads this year


It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And for the retail industry, it’s by far the most lucrative. And whilst there’s plenty of things to get excited about at Christmas (namely parties, guilt-free carb-loading, parties, days off and more parties) festive TV ads are up there. Whether it’s John Lewis’ Bear and the Hare or Shirley Bassey and her mates going all Bond girl for M&S, Christmas TV ads have become a talking point in the past few years. Take a look at our pick of the best of the big-hitters this year.


Never let it be said that an advert can’t take you on an emotional roller coaster. Waitrose’s tale of a robin who goes on the adventure of a lifetime, across stormy seas and sprawling landscapes all to get a taste of one of the store’s fancy mince pies, is like a movie trailer. The moral of the story? Be nice. Be kind. Help each other out and you’ll get your reward.


Sainsbury’s ad divides people as soon as it begins: soundtracked by the dulcet tones of Mr James Corden, who seems to be of the Marmite variety for most, it uses quirky animation to list everything that could go wrong at Christmas but also exactly what makes Christmas the best time of the year, and that’s family time. And it’s all in aid of Great Ormond Street. Lovely.

Heathrow Airport

Paddington? Keep him. Winnie the Pooh? Who? It’s all about Edward Bair and his lady friend as they arrive home from their holidays in Heathrow Airport’s new ad. Just as you’re falling in love with the cute pair, as Edward fumbles with his glasses in order to read the signs or knocks over a shortbread display in duty free (he is a laugh a minute) they are met with their grandkids and it turns out they’re regular old Nan and Grandad from Lewisham or somewhere just as mundane (probably) Adorable nonetheless.


The only ad in the list that isn’t trying to flog you anything, the World Wildlife Fund have released this one to encourage people to donate to the charity and try and protest one of the planet’s most majestic, but endangered, animals: the tiger. The clip sees a family nursing an injured tiger back to health, before releasing it back into the wild. Both poignant and unsettling that these beautiful creatures could become extinct in the very near future, it’s stunning.

TK Maxx

Probably the least sentimental of the bunch, TK Maxx has gone for comedy rather than schmaltz. The family in the ad are propped around the piano in a seemingly traditional scene, before launching into a rather-hilarious acapella rendition of Misirlou, aka the iconic Pulp Fiction song, gargling granny and all. A firm favourite of ours from the car boot sale of the high street.


Our favourite of the whole bunch. In the current climate, where hatred is rife and hope sometimes stifled, this one from Amazon is particularly poignant. It shows the friendship between a Christian vicar and a Muslim Imam and how we’re all not as different as you might think. It went viral on premiering and rightly so. Let’s all show a little more compassion this Christmas.

Marks and Spencer

M&S has a reputation of really pulling it out of the stocking when it comes to their ad campaigns throughout the year. But Christmas always brings out the best in them. Remember Shirley Bassey slaying Get This Party Started with her gaggle of supermodel pals? Iconic. This year’s effort isn’t quite as memorable but it’s chic nonetheless and sees Mrs claus taking matters into her own hands #GirlPower.

John Lewis

The one everyone anticipates every year, impressing customers is always a tall order for John Lewis. They’ve given us the Bear and the Hare, the super-cute penguins, the snowman love story and the Man in the Moon, who quite frankly, was a bit creepy. This year, it’s all about an energetic boxer dog named Buster who just wants to get involved with his little girl owner’s new trampoline, all soundtracked by a beautiful cover of One Day I’ll Fly Away by Vaults. Who can resist a naughty puppy? SOMEONE WITH A HEART OF STONE, THAT’S WHO.

WATCH: NBC’s Hairspray Live! releases first trailer and it’s MAJOR

Hairspray Live! - Season 2016

We’ve been treated to clips of rehearsals and interviews with the star-studded cast but now the first trailer for NBC’s upcoming TV spectacle Hairspray Live! and it’s pretty great.

The trailer shows the cast, which is headed up by newcomer Maddie Baillio and star of the original Broadway show, Harvey Fierstein, singing and dancing to the inimitable score Marc Shaiman and Scott Witman. The musical, which is following in the footsteps of other televised live musicals like Fox’s Grease Live and the UK’s attempt at The Sound of Music on ITV, will also feature Derek Hough, Jennifer Hudson, Kristin Chenoweth, Ariana Grande and a host of others.

The show has been written by Fierstein and original choreographer Jerry Mitchell is also on board.

The musical airs in the States on December 7 but a UK airing date has yet to be announced.

Watch the trailer below:

Meet the cast in the video below:

Photo/Videos: NBC


On the Toon…My night at the inaugural Tyne and Wear Lifestyle Awards


Last week saw the people behind the North East’s best businesses mix with the beautiful people of television, and the odd celebrity guest, as the first ever Tyne and Wear Lifestyle Awards took place.

Newcastle’s Discovery Museum proved a beautiful venue for the great and the good to assemble as prizes in categories like Best Bar, Best Fashion Retailer and Best Live Experience were handed out. And as special guest, pop star Sinitta, said, it was the perfect opportunity to find out just where you can get the best cup of coffee in the North East, where you should be checking in for the night and where you should be getting your hair did!


(The grand Discovery Museum, our venue for the night)

The Lifestyle Awards is the brain child of PR guru Jason Gale, who was in attendance on the night along with his partner Sinitta. After public voting, a panel decided on the eventual winners.


(Me and special guest Sinitta)

As an awards do newbie, I was grateful and relieved to be introduced to a fellow blogger on arrival. Also riding solo, Pixie Tenenbaum (below) a fashionista I had heard lots about through mutual friends, became my date whether she liked it or not. After posing on the red carpet and grabbing a complementary glass of fizz, we were frantically pulled aside by the lovely Hazel Pude and Melissa Crawford from The Lowdown, Made in Tyne and Wear’s hit TV show, for a live interview. We ended up having a ball together – our table was a mix of Made TV talent, PR and the lovely Donna Petch, who is behind the marketing powerhouse The North East Hub. We dined on a delicious three courses, ranging from a Geordie delicacy with a twist (ham hock terrine with a peas pudding sauce and fresh stottie) to corn-fed chicken supreme with gratin dauphinoise to a Sicilian lemon tart with macerated berries and cream. All superb.


(Fashion blogger Pixie Tenenbaum)

Entertainment was provided by The Mimic Men, an impressionist double act last seen storming Britain’s Got Talent, and the rowdy room was kept in check (just!) by hosts from Made in Tyne and Wear, Peter Darrant, and the lovely Hazel and Mel (below).


(Hosts Hazel Pude and Melissa Crawford from The Lowdown)


(Two of the winners of the night – Mister Woods took home Best Coffee Shop)

It was wonderful to see the eclectic mix of talent our region has and lovely to not only recognize a lot of the winning faces but also make new friends. It is events like this that really shine a spotlight on regional businesses and let the rest of the country know what we already do; that the North East is a truly unique place to live.

A big thank you to lovely Fran from Made TV for the invitation and looking after us and the rest of the team for helping pull off a fantastic event. Sore heads all round the morning after, no doubt. Looking forward to the next one.


The full list of winners:

Best Coffee Shop – Mister Woods

Best Pub – City Tavern

Best Fashion Retailer – Have To Love

Best Hair and Beauty – Patrick Forster Barber and Shop

Best Hotel – Malmaison

Best Bar – The Botanist

Best Cultural Attraction – National Glass Centre

Best Restaurant – River Beat

Best Club – House of Smith

Best Fitness Facility – Model Health

Best Live Experience – Great North Run

Legend Award – Colin Burgin-Plews (Big Pink Dress)

WATCH: Coxhoe’s Sam Lavery takes on James Arthur in week one of The X Factor


She’s the local girl with the big voice, a voice which has taken her all the way to the live finals of the biggest singing competition in the country. And tonight, Sam Lavery, from County Durham, sailed through to the next round with her rendition of a former winner’s single.

The 17-year-old performed Impossible, which was originally released by US singer Shontelle, but was a number one hit for James Arthur, who won the show in 2012.

Her performance was praised by all of the jobs, with her mentor Simon telling the audience that she had huge potential as an artist.

Brattavio were booted off the show, after landing in the sing-off against Finnish diva Saara Alto. They’re version of The Only Way Is Up by Yazz wasn’t enough to beat Alto’s belting take on Sia’s Alive. Next week will see the 10 remaining acts tackle the songs of Motown.

Watch Sam’s performance below:

The X Factor returns next Saturday at 8pm on ITV1.

Photo: ITV X Factor

WATCH: Amber Riley belts out And I Am Telling You ahead of West End debut in Dreamgirls


She wowed us in Glee and went on to win Dancing With The Stars. And theatre audiences were delighted when it was announced that Amber Riley would be taking the powerhouse role of Effie White in the upcoming London production of Dreamgirls.

The actress appeared on Graham Norton last night for an exclusive performance of the musical’s show-stopping number, And I Am Telling You, and NAILED it. She had previously sang the song on Glee but this was the first time since announcing her role in Dreamgirls – it was literally hold-your-breath-until-she’s-finished stuff. She also joined Danny Devito, Ewan McGregor, John Bishop, Sam Neill and Miranda Hart on the chat show host’s sofa.

The musical, which has never been staged in the West End before, opens at the Savoy Theatre November 19 and is booking until March 2017. It tells the fictional story of ’60s girl group The Dreams and their rise to stardom. Effie is Riley’s first theatre role, where she will star alongside Liisi Lafontaine as Deena Jones and Ibinabo Jack as Lorrell Robinson.

Watch the performance below:

WATCH: Celine Dion impersonates Cher, Rihanna and Sia on The Tonight Show


The Wheel of Musical Impressions has in the past featured Ariana Grande copying Whitney and Christina Aguilera as Shakira, but last night The Tonight Show’s segment stepped it up a notch with a performance from a true icon.

Celine Dion, who was on the show to chat about her long-running Las Vegas residency, faced off against host Jimmy Fallon in the game, which requires contestants to imitate famous singers.

The music legend, who has been out of the spotlight since the death of her husband and manager Renee last year, treated the audience to a spot-on impersonation of her friend Cher singing Frere Jacques. She was then challenged with a flawless imitation of Michael Jackson singing Drake’s One Dance by Jimmy.

The game also saw Celine twerking to Row Row Row Your Boat as Rihanna (prompting Jimmy to tell her to rein it in as there was kids watching) and Jimmy doing a turn as Johnny Cash.

Celine’s piece de resistance, however, was Sia – she started off with Hush, Little Baby before tossing her hair forward in homage to Sia’s famous fringed wigs to belt out Chandelier to rapturous applause.

She also revealed on the show that she was originally apprehensive about recording one of her most famous hits, My Heart Will Go On. “I’m glad I sang the song,” she told Jimmy.

“I didn’t want to record the song. I’m so glad people don’t listen to me.”

Watch the video below:

WATCH: Michelle Obama and James Corden get down to Stevie, Beyonce and Missy

michelle obama

In possibly the most unexpected Car Pool Karaoke yet, James Corden has taken the First Lady of the United States for a spin.

Following a hairy confrontation with White House security, Michelle Obama gives the British host a little tour around the grounds before breaking into Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder (“I love Stevie Wonder! I think I know every Stevie song on the planet) and sharing stories about driving around with her daughter. “That was the only time in seven and a half years I’ve been in the passenger seat, listening to music and rocking out,” she tells Corden.

Mrs Obama also reveals she will miss the staff at the White House most. “To walk away from people you see every single day; that’s going to be hard.”

The pair also jam to Beyonce’s Single Ladies, dance routine included, and Michelle gives info about her Let Girls Learn initiative, which is aimed at helping underprivileged girls get an education.

An ultra-glam Missy Elliot brings things to a close with her song, This Is For My Girls and a fly version of Get Ur Freak On, showcasing some serious rap skills in the First Lady.

For more information on Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn initiative, click here and here