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Five matters we’ve learnt from the BRIT Awards 2021 nominations

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Five things we’ve learnt from the BRIT Awards 2021 nominations
T

he Brit Awards in February 2020 ended up most likely music’s final massive evening out, a chance to see chart-toppers placing on overblown performances in entrance of a huge crowd at a time when we didn’t realise we would have to do without for so lengthy.

As the organisers announce the nominations for a ceremony delayed right up until May well 11, it feels peculiar to be a celebrating a yr that was lacking every significant spectacle from Glastonbury down, but the shortlists are as starry as at any time. Listed here are 5 issues we have acquired.

Girls lead the way at previous at the Brit Awards 2021

Arlo Parks

/ AFP by using Getty Illustrations or photos

Soon after 14 of the 15 nominees in past year’s combined categories had been male, this time feminine artists get a much superior displaying. Four of the five names in the British Album category, traditionally the greatest prize of the night, are women of all ages, and rapper J Hus appears to be like unlikely to need to have a speech in his pocket when up from Dua Lipa, Arlo Parks, Celeste and Jessie Ware. Parks and Celeste, with 3 nods just about every pursuing debut albums that arrived on the similar working day in January, should to be major information for several years to appear. In fact the nominations as a complete are a youthful, numerous distinction with the summer festival line-ups that have been introduced so much, where heritage rockers however dominate.

British rap is in great shape

AJ Tracey

/ Getty Images

The performances from British Male winner Stormzy and British Album winner Dave ended up the most unforgettable of the 2020 ceremony. Even with out that pair, this time homegrown rappers are a lot more prevalent than ever. A few of the five British Male nominees, typically a prize for Ed Sheeran or Robbie Williams, are rappers. The 10-powerful Music of the 12 months record, also, is 50 % rapped. About the earlier year AJ Tracey, at the poppier conclude of the spectrum, and Headie 1, growing from the murky sub-style drill, have joined J Hus on the A-record. Meanwhile, Nottingham’s triple nominees Young T & Bugsey have proved that you don’t have to be Londoners to be part of the gold rush.

It will not be like the Grammys

The Weeknd

/ Getty Visuals

By delaying right up until May well and opting to return to the O2 Arena, the BRITs will hope to be in a placement to stay away from the understated truly feel of March’s Grammys ceremony in Los Angeles. As it stands, the Brits is prepared to be a “test event”, permitted by the Division for Digital, Society, Media and Sport to have a more substantial audience to evaluate whether or not additional these gatherings can choose location. Fingers crossed. The BRITs will also give a warm glow to disgruntled R&B star The Weeknd, who was inexplicably disregarded at the Grammys even with his album Following Several hours being one particular of the year’s most important successes. He’s up for Worldwide Male listed here.

It’ll surely be Dua Lipa’s night time

Dua Lipa

/ Getty Visuals for iHeartMedia

Three nominations, now announced together with Mounting Star winner Griff as the initially stay performance of the evening – Dua Lipa appears to be like set to be the large winner of the night. Her second album, Future Nostalgia, took the daring move of aiming squarely at the dancefloor despite the simple fact that there was nowhere to dance, a danger that compensated off when it grew to become the only album unveiled in 2020 to arrive at platinum position in the British isles. Compared with the artier Mercury Prize, the BRITs is there to celebrate commercial good results. They’ll be selected to deliver some statues her way at a time when it is been tougher than at any time to be a big seller.

But Sam Smith must hold out until finally an additional yr

Sam Smith

/ AFP via Getty Visuals

The debate in the operate-up to the nominations was dominated by the problem of exactly where to set Sam Smith, a two-time British Male nominee who came out as non-binary and started working with they/them pronouns in 2019. Their energetic release Really like Goes skipped out in the British Album class and they ended up ineligible somewhere else. “The Brits are fully commited to evolving the show and the gendered categories are extremely considerably beneath evaluate,” mentioned the organisers. Perhaps subsequent time.

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It’s official: Andrew Scott is the greatest actor of our generation

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It’s official: Andrew Scott is the greatest actor of our generation

Andrew Scott: do I want to be him, snog him, or just watch everything he ever appears in? I think it’s all three. Either way, from now on I’m going to ask everyone I meet if they agree that he is the greatest actor of our generation. If they don’t, sorry, we cannot be friends.

Not everyone loved the BBC’s lavish adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love (I did), but everyone who watched it agreed on one thing: Scott, who played louche bright young thing Lord Merlin, lit up every second of his screen time. As we watched him dancing to T-Rex in silk pyjama suit with a harem of beautiful people following him around, we wanted to have a pyjama party in his honour.

He became a legend of this nation as Fleabag’s Hot Priest, the gin and tonic-drinking clergyman who ensured that the second series of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s hit show was even better than the first. It was an emotional rollercoaster: we sobbed and got hot under the dog collar. Paloma Faith spoke for us all when she infamously told Scott on the Graham Norton sofa that she’d needed “alone time” after watching the show.

BBC

But we bow down to him as the very best actor we have right now because of a long career of stellar performances, elevated by his own personal life philosophy. “Acting without humour is bad manners – it’s not the way human beings work,” he said last year in an interview for Elizabeth Day’s How To Fail podcast. That’s the key to his brilliance: he brings both humanity and levity to all of his characters.

The first time I ever saw him was on stage in Birdland at the Royal Court, back in 2014 as a rock star going off the rails in a metallic jacket. He’d already played Moriarty in Sherlock by then and won a Bafta for being the best thing in the show, but I had no idea who he was (I don’t watch things about men who are really good at doing maths in their heads). I still remember sitting at the back of the circle and thinking: that man is a star. His performance was vintage Scott: manic charisma, sexy but in a way that felt a bit dangerous, all with a vulnerable tenderness at its heart.

Fleabag finds religion in season 2 – but is it enough to save her? / BBC

He’s an actor who can do the biggies. In 2017 he played Hamlet, making the prince into a sensitive man whose life has become unmoored by grief. I saw the nearly four hour running time of Robert Icke’s production and went to the theatre with a visceral sense of martyrdom, but Scott made it feel like it wasn’t long enough. It was the first time I’d watched Hamlet and not fallen asleep; usually I wake up and everyone on the stage is dead. But Scott made it so that I could understand every word he was saying… suddenly I understood why everyone else liked it so much.

And as Garry Essendine in Noel Coward’s Present Laughter in 2019, he picked up a host of gongs including Best Actor at our Evening Standard Theatre Awards. Not only did his hilarious performance light up our summer, but the production had an important political meaning too, allowing the queer subtext in Coward’s work to be openly expressed. As Scott himself said in his acceptance speech, “I think sometimes [Coward is] accused of being a dusty old playwright but he smuggles through comedy really modern ideas about sexuality and gender. He sort of says it’s okay to live a life that’s less ordinary.”

We feel like we could have a deep and meaningful with him at 2am in a toilet

/ Theodora Films Limited & Moonage Pictures Limited/Robert Viglasky

But whatever he’s in, he always becomes the bit you never forget. Psychotic taxi driver in Black Mirror? Tick. Upper class World War One officer getting through the trauma with gallows humour in 1917? Tick. Welsh bookshop owner disowned by his family for being gay, who made us cry every tear in our body in Pride? Tick. Priest who would make you hotfoot to confession (even though you are an atheist) in Fleabag? As we know, tick, tick, tick.

His next project is playing Tom Ripley in a new mega-series about Patricia Highsmith’s enigmatic con artist, alongside Johnny Flynn and Dakota Fanning, and we already know Scott will make us forget every other Ripley depiction we’ve ever seen – apols Matt Damon.

It’s not just his first class acting chops, though. Scott has an electric quality to him that makes us feel intimately connected to him. Who else could have us hanging off his every ‘to be or not to be’ and also make us feel like we could have a deep and meaningful with him at 2am in a toilet?

Give Scott an Oscar. Give him a knighthood. Give him our phone numbers. Give him everything. We pledge allegiance to the way of the Scott.

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