It's the Brit Awards tomorrow, a charade of an annual event but at least they seem to have given up on the primary 'anything can happen' promotional angle this year, which as well as suggesting nobody should be interested in the music and awards blithely overlooks that the things that did make a press impression didn't happen on camera (Prescott's soaking), should really not have happened if the production team had a clue what they were doing (Brandon Block's gatecrashing, Sharon Osbourne trying to wrestle Vic Reeves off the mike), had a significance well beyond the ken of the commercial sector it was being presented to (Bill Drummond's machine gunning) or all of the above (Jarvis - the show director missed it and the footage of his appearance didn't surface until three days later) More pertinently the awards weren't restored to live TV until 2007, the event having taken place the day before transmission since... well...
Television has surely never seen such a major abdication of sense as when Samantha Fox, her UK charting days already behind her, and Mick Fleetwood, thrown in at the deep end on the back of his band's revival a couple of years earlier and on the promise of international footage sales, were put forward as hosts of the 1989 Brits. It was doomed well before we saw a moment. Rehearsals went to pot, the cleaners wouldn't let anyone in for much of the allotted time, the autocue was out of anyone's eyeline, Fox was overly nervous, Fleetwood was overly pissed.
Marvellously, instead of the lead-lined vault you might have envisaged, the whole thing has turned up online. Let's walk through it together.
Part one: your hosts come on and do something that's either a knowing gag or a cockup before Fox reveals it to be a cockup - before they've even spoken - a namecheck for Bruce Springsteen silences the kids and Julian Lennon turns up a little late before the sight of four grown adults standing around sheepishly on live TV.
Part two: The Four Tops are repeatedly introduced and then Boy George appears anyway, before Fleetwood starts introducing George for the next award anyway. Then an exclusive video message from Michael Jackson gets lost, meaning the show underruns, leading to all sorts of malarkey come the end.
Part three: Fox so spectacularly loses her place/grip that she ends up having to admit it on camera. "Wind away!"
Part four: Mick misses his cue while personal grooming, then the director gives up during his intro. Alan Price comes on to introduce the Brits School, points to Kenneth Baker and watches him nearly get booed out of the building.
Part five: A glorious fiasco of silence and confusion right at the start with Bill Wyman, Ronnie Wood and Gary 'are you not going to have a look at the possibilities first?' Davies. Nobody remembers to mention what the award actually is. Get your feet off there, Bros. Our hosts then fail to co-ordinate their Def Leppard intro.
Part six: Some comedy is attempted. The Best Classical Recording winner gets the shortest shrift you've ever heard. Fox is given the line "it's still possible for a female to sell her songs and not her image" and delivers it without apparent irony.
Part seven: Ken Russell imposes himself as only he could. Fox gets totally baffled by a routine about the height difference. Phil Collins' speech threatens to never end.
Part eight: Tina Turner has to stop Annie Lennox walking off stage the wrong way. The silences are getting longer. The chairman of the BPI tells Mick he's "done a wonderful job for us tonight".
Part nine: Lifetime achievement winner Cliff Richard is introduced too early and then his big speech build-up payoff turns out to be telling off the whole audience. He then walks off right in the way of the shot.
Part ten: Randy Newman and 'The Mark Knopfler Supergroup' closes the event. Randy Newman! Ending the Brits broadcast in 1989! Randy Newman! And the song didn't even chart in the end. The thing doesn't even stagger to a dignified finish as the floor manager manages to mislead Fleetwood as to how to end once the size of the underrun is discovered. A fitting climax.