Jarvis Cocker mooning Michael Jackson voted "most controversial" BRITs moment

11 February 2023, 07:00

Shocking BRITs moments: Jarvis Cocker in 1996, Madonna takes a tumble and Liam gets mouthy
Shocking BRITs moments: Jarvis Cocker in 1996, Madonna takes a tumble and Liam gets mouthy. Picture: Gareth Cattermole/MEnternational/Redferns/Rune Hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images

Madonna's fall and Robbie Williams challenging Liam Gallagher to a fight have been named just some of the most memorable events from the show over the years.

Radio X

By Radio X

Fans have named Jarvis Cocker "mooning" the audience during Michael Jackson's performance as the most controversial event in BRIT Awards history.

Ahead of the 2023 BRIT Awards ceremony tomorrow night (11th February), Betfair Casino commissioned research which says the Pulp star's stage invasion is the most shocking moment to happen at the show, with 29.5% of the vote.

Cocker crashed the stage during MJ’s performance of Earth Song at the BRITs in 1996, while Madonna tumbling down the stairs at the 2015 awards was placed second - as nearly 1 in 5 Brits (19.1%) voted the moment as the most shocking.

Robbie Williams challenging Liam Gallagher to a fight in 2000 took the third spot (14.2%), with Adele flashing her middle finger after her Best Album acceptance speech was cut off midway at the 2012 show.

Noel Gallagher calling Michael Hutchence of INXS a "has-been" and Arctic Monkeys' foul-mouthed appearance in 2008 also made the cut.

The most controversial BRIT Awards moments

  1. Pulp's Jarvis Cocker mooning Michael Jackson's performance (1996) - 29.5%

    Michael Jackson - Earth Song (Brit Awards 1996)

    The BRIT Awards 1996 saw Michael Jackson given an Artist Of A Generation award in recognition of his life’s work, but in reality it was an excuse for him to play his latest Number 1 smash, Earth Song. The staging included Children Of Many Lands And Races all clamouring to be blessed by the saintly figure of Jacko, but one onlooker was bemused by the exhibition.

    Cue a drunk Jarvis Cocker, there that night with his band Pulp, and ready to cause a very British stage invasion. He snuck onto the stage, waved his bum at the crowd and then left, but Jackson's people were outraged enough to demand police investigate the incident. Nothing came of it, however.

  2. Madonna falling down the stairs (2015) - 19.1%

    Madonna Fall Brit Awards 2015 During Performance

    In one of those "Is this actually happenning?" time-slowing-down moments, Pop Icon Madonna fell sharply backwards down a flight of stairs when the cape that was meant to be torn off by a dancer stayed put.

    The unyielding piece of wardrobe tugged back at the 57-year-old singer's throat and gravity did the rest... all live on TV. She carried on like a trooper and finished the number. We shudder to think what disciplinary action took place after the show, however.

  3. Robbie Williams challenges Liam Gallagher to a fight (2000) - 14.2%

    Liam vs Robbie

    Robbie and Liam were mates, then Noel called the Take That man a "fat dancer" and the gloves were off, with insults flying. Picking up his Best Video award, the Robster took the opportunity to ask: "Would anybody like to see me fight Liam?"

    He went on: "Liam: £100,000 of your money, £100,000 of mine… we'll get in the ring and have a fight. Now are you gonna do it or pussy out you fucking wimp?" Caroline Aherne, who was presenting the award, spoke for the nation by saying: "I vote for Liam."

  4. Adele middle-fingering after being cut short during speech (2012) - 13.5%

    Adele wins Best Album of the year - Brit Awards 2012 HD

    One of the biggest moments of the 2012 ceremony was Ms Adkins winning Album Of The Year for her second album 21, but her moving acceptance speech was interrupted by host Cordern cutting her off to introduce the reformed Blur, who were set to close the show. The South London singer responded the only way she knew how - with a single-fingered salute to the organisers.

  5. Liam Gallagher throwing his microphone into the crowd (2010) - 9%

    Oasis win BRITs Album of 30 Years presented by Noddy Holder | BRIT Awards 2010

    The scars of the Oasis split were still quite fresh when Gallagher Jr accepted the award for "Best Album Of The Past 30 Years" for (What's The Story) Morning Glory? He deliberately failed to namecheck his brother, thanked "the best fans in the f**king world", gave the trophy to someone in the crowd and threw his microphone into the audience. Cheers.

    Host Peter Kay commented: "What a knobhead". What a legend, more like.

  6. Geri Horner's iconic Union Jack dress (1997) - 6.3%

    Spice Girls - Wannabe & Who Do You Think You Are [BRIT Awards 1997 Remastered]

    Was it the spectacle of the Spice Girl using the Union Flag as an outfit that was considered controversial? It's not clear, but this was one of the most memorable BRIT moments of all time.

  7. Arctic Monkeys laying into Brits School during their acceptance speech (2008) - 6.2%

    Arctic Monkeys win MasterCard Album of the Year presented by Vic Reeves | BRIT Awards 2008

    When the Sheffield lads won the Best Album award for Favourite First Nightmare, they arrived at the event dressed as country squires. They topped that with an acceptance speech that was, shall we say, quite blunt about the BRITs school - which was dropped from the TV coverage.

Survey research commissioned by Betfair Casino


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