Steps in 2022

Were the Brit Awards rigged?

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The Brit Awards are at the centre of an alleged vote-rigging scandal after Scottish indie band Belle & Sebastian pipped Steps to win the best newcomer award.

BBC Radio 1 said it was satisfied with the authenticity of the listeners’ poll for the Best Newcomer category in the awards, following claims that a late surge votes led to the Scottish band becoming the surprise winners.

The statement from the BBC came after an article in The Sun quoting pop impresario Peter Waterman, who alleges he was told two days before the Brit Awards that Steps, the band he produces, had won the Best Newcomer category.

He is reported to have been “stunned” when the Scottish band were announced as winners at the award ceremony.

Mr Waterman says he was told Steps had won the voting on Sunday by a Top of the Pops presenter who claimed the information had come from Radio 1.

Mr Waterman alleges the voting pattern changed before voting ended. And he alleges that at least 12% of votes for Belle amp; Sebastian could be traced back to email addresses at Cambridge and Strathclyde universities.

In a letter to the British Phonographic Institute, he is reported as calling for an inquiry into the alleged vote rigging.

He says in the letter: “Between Thursday evening and Friday evening the voting pattern had changed.”

But a BBC spokeswoman said Radio 1 listeners had been voting for the Best Newcomer category for the “past few years”.

She said: “This year we were delighted that Belle amp; Sebastian came top after a two-week long voting period from a shortlist drawn up by the Brits Academy. Radio 1 and the British Phonographic Institute are satisfied with the authenticity of the result.”

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