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Last Updated:  Thursday, 9 January, 2003, 17:42 GMT
Brit Awards deny booze ban
Ms Dynamite
Ms Dynamite will play at Monday's launch
Organisers of this year's Brit Awards have denied reports that there will be an alcohol ban at this year's ceremony, saying they "love incidents of bad behaviour".

Stars will be able to drink in a backstage bar, a spokeswoman told BBC News Online, adding that they are not trying to cut out headline-grabbing antics.

Bad behaviour was part of the Brits, the spokeswoman said, adding: "That's what everyone loves about the Brit Awards."

But alcohol will not be allowed in the auditorium, with organisers opting for theatre-style rows of seating instead of having guests sitting at tables as in recent years.

Michael Jackson in 1996
The Brits have a long history of stunts
The ceremony has made headlines in the past for antics such as Jarvis Cocker invading Michael Jackson's performance, Liam Gallagher feuding with Robbie Williams and Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott being soaked in water by a member of Chumbawumba.

This year's ceremony has been moved forward to early evening, meaning a "huge rock and roll style banquet" will take place in an adjoining arena after the show.

"All of the artists and celebrities backstage, all of the nominees and people who are on the show will be able to get a drink in the backstage bar," the spokeswoman said.

"During the show, it's going to be focused on the performances and the awards, and then everyone will be able to go through and have the party of their lives afterwards."

The nominations for this year's awards will be announced at a launch party featuring performances from Ms Dynamite and Moby at London's Abbey Road studios on Monday.

The awards ceremony takes place at 1700 GMT on 20 February, and will be televised "as live" on ITV1 a few hours later.

Hip-hop act The Streets is widely tipped to get a string of nominations, with Norah Jones, Ms Dynamite, Robbie Williams and Coldplay also expected to be up for awards.



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