Steps in 2022

Will Belle and Sebastian return their Brit?

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From Billboard Bulletin:

Brit Award winners Belle & Sebastian face the prospect of having to return their trophy for best newcomer, after it has emerged that they should not have qualified as nominees for the category. Under BPI rules, acts are not eligible “if they have had a top-75 single or album success prior to the eligibility period”. In this case, that means before 11 August 1997.

Belle & Sebastian – signed to Jeepster in the UK – reached number 59 on the official singles chart on 24 May 1997 with their EP “Dog On Wheels”. They later reached number 41 on 9 August with “Lazy Line Painter Jane”.

“Maybe we shouldn’t have got the nomination,” Jeepster managing director Mark Jones tells Billboard Bulletin.

“We’ve never been told the rules; we just got told that the band had been nominated. We’ll quite happily give the award back without losing any sleep over it.” The BPI did not comment.

A spokesman for BBC Radio 1, whose listeners voted in the category by phone and email, says nominations for the category “were supplied to Radio 1 by the Brits, which we then invited our listeners to vote for. I think the reaction to Belle & Sebastian’s win shows that most people would describe them as new music.”

The band’s latest album, “The Boy With The Arab Strap,” sold 65,000 copies in the days following the awards, according to Jeepster, with a further 20,000 shipped to retail that weekend. Producer and BPI council member Pete Waterman, whose protégé act Steps lost to Belle & Sebastian by 71 votes, has asked BPI chairman Rob Dickins to set up an independent investigation into how the nominations were drawn up and how the vote was conducted.

Published reports have claimed that a large percentage of the votes for Belle & Sebastian came from two UK university campuses.

Today, Claire helped to present two programmes with Ant and Dec for ITV, and she did a fine job of it too. Well done Claire! This isn’t the first time that she has presented a programme either, she has already presented the popular entertainment show Electric Circus for the BBC. She is so good at it I really hope we see more of her on TV doing something other than singing. Although that doesn’t mean we want her to give up her singing career! The presenting should be kept to a part time job, as we would hate to see her ditch the group. Luckily we doubt this will ever happen.

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