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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 February 2007, 03:59 GMT
Everything Changes for Take That
By Fiona Pryor
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Take That
Take That also won best single in 1996

A few years ago, it would have been hard to imagine Take That performing at the Brit Awards, let alone winning one, but they did.

The foursome scooped best British single - the same award they won back in 1996.

More than a decade after they split, their popularity has gone from strength to strength, since reforming in 2005.

After reaching number one last year with both their single and album, and then embarking on a sell-out tour, winning a Brit award must be the icing on the cake for the foursome.

Rehab

It is however, a very different story for the former Take That singer, Robbie Williams, who left the band in 1995.

His latest album, Rudebox, was panned by critics and the first single from it debuted at number four in the UK.

Not only that, while his old bandmates toasted their win, he was in a US rehab clinic receiving treatment for a dependency on prescription drugs.

Robbie Williams
Robbie Williams has won more Brits than any other artist

The 33-year-old, who has won more Brit awards than any other artist, was only nominated for one gong this year - best British live act - which he failed to win.

It is also the first time in several years that Williams has failed to be in the running for the best male or best album categories.

Highlight

Despite these recent, and very public downfalls, the singer's former bandmates made no mention of him on stage at any point throughout the evening.

Instead, that was left to presenter Russell Brand, who joked that a giant padlock, on stage as part of the set design, was in fact "Robbie Williams' medicine cabinet".

"Let Me Entertain You - as long as you don't get 60 fags, 20 Redbulls and some happy pills to get into the mood," he added.

Backstage though, the band did pay tribute to Williams, saying: "Cheers, Robbie. Thanks a lot."

We were expecting a bit of controversy here tonight. We were taking bets on who was going to cause some trouble and unfortunately nothing happened,


Sarah House, Reading

All thoughts of Williams were later put aside, as Take That took to the stage to perform.

They got one of the biggest cheers, compared with the other performers, and many people rushed from their seats to try to get a closer look.

"They were brilliant. Definitely the best part of the evening," said Angelina Marshall from Rugby.

Take That was not the only highlight of the show.

Oasis, who took the outstanding contribution to music award, performed several songs.

Standing ovation

Their performance, which was so loud it could be felt under foot, got everyone up dancing, and some were even up on the tables.

Liam and Noel Gallagher
Oasis sang a selection of their best hits on stage

Fred Rigele travelled all the way from Austria just to see his idols perform.

"I'm mad for Oasis," he said. "They were the best band today, the whole hall gave them a standing ovation."

There were some that were disappointed with the Gallagher brothers though.

"I thought Liam might have caused a bit of trouble, but no such luck," said Sarah House from Reading.

Since the Brit Awards began, the ceremony has earned itself something of a reputation for bad behaviour.

With the show going out live for the first time in 1989, many had been hoping to see the artists to play up for the cameras.

"We were expecting a bit of controversy here tonight. On the way here on the train, we were taking bets on who was going to cause some trouble and unfortunately nothing happened," she added.

"Bit disappointing really. I was hoping for a bit of an argument, bit of scrapping maybe," said Gary Westlake from Bristol.

Dazzling performance

Despite the lack of fights, public feuds and stage invasions, there was no denying the set design was one of the best yet.

The Scissor Sisters, opened the show with a dazzling performance of their hit single, I Don't Feel Like Dancing.

Thanks to some clever stage-work and choreography the New York band gave off the illusion they were floating on air.

When Snow Patrol took to the stage to perform Chasing Cars, the main lights were replaced with hundreds of small lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling, which lit their set.

The lighting changed the atmosphere, and made the stage look magical. But as another Brit Awards passed, Mark Owen from Take That reminded everyone in the audience exactly why they were all there.

"What a great year for music," he said. "Great, absolutely fantastic."


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