Yorkshire’s Arctic Monkeys are facing a strong challenge from 67-year-old veteran David Bowie who is being tipped for his first prize at the Brit awards for two decades at the big event tomorrow.
Bowie leads the field to take the best British male award at the biggest night in the UK music world after his comeback last year with album The Next Day, following an absence of 10 years.
A triumph for Bowie would make him the oldest recipient of a Brit Award. The current record holder is Sir Tom Jones, who was given an honorary prize for his outstanding contribution to music in 2003, when he was 62.
Bowie is ranked way out in front at 1/3 by bookmaker William Hill to collect the title ahead of a field made up of John Newman, Jake Bugg, Tom Odell and James Blake. It would also amount to only his second “win” at the Brits – other than a 1984 best male award, his only title was an honorary one when he was chosen for the outstanding contribution in 1996.
William Hill puts Ellie Goulding in front to take the best British female prize, while Arctic Monkeys - who drew widespread acclaim for their musical rebirth on fifth album AM - are the hot favourites for the best group prize.
Bowie - who has kept a low profile in New York in the past decade - is also in the running for the best British album award although Arctic Monkeys lead the betting. But Bowie’s reluctance to make public appearances will raise questions about how he will collect a prize if does win because he is not due to attend.
Chart-toppers One Direction appear to be a shoo-in for the best video prize for their single Best Song Ever, which marks the first time the Brits have allowed an award to be decided using social media.
Music fans will vote on Twitter tomorrow with the winner declared at the end of the ceremony, with Brits bosses opening up the voting to fans around the world, not just those in the UK, as the event will be screened globally on YouTube in an effort to raise its international profile.
But with 17.8 million followers on Twitter, the boy band should be able to rely on their obsessive fans to defeat all comers, with fellow nominees ranging from Calvin Harris - on 3.8 million - to Naughty Boy, who has just 63,000 followers.
The event will feature a number of star performers including Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and the Arctics who will take the stage at the O2 Arena in London, and organisers are hoping for better than last year’s event which even Brits chairman Christian Tattersfield has admitted was lacklustre.
In an interview with The Guardian today he conceded: “Last year could have been better - we lacked superstars.”
The ceremony will also be a swan song for James Corden as host after four years holding the show together. He had previously been a co-host in 2009 with Mat Horne and Kylie Minogue.
One Direction star Harry Styles is favourite to take over next year, according to William Hill.