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Universal Music UK boss: I couldn’t stand going to the Brits

David Joseph also described Dave’s politically-charged Brit Awards performance as career-defining.


David Joseph (Yui Mok/PA)

David Joseph (Yui Mok/PA)

David Joseph (Yui Mok/PA)

The boss of Universal Music UK has said that before he was enlisted to revamp the Brit Awards 2020, he could not stand attending the event.

David Joseph, the record label’s chairman and chief executive, led the last Brits Committee and was instrumental in securing artists such as Stormzy and Billie Eilish, decreasing the number of breaks, and reducing the amount of tables for corporate guests.

He told the Annie Mac Presents London Conference on Friday: “When I was asked to do it I said no, somewhere between seven and eight times – because I can’t stand going to the Brits.

Brit Awards 2020
The Brit Awards 2020 (Isabel Infantes/PA)

“So I said ‘You are asking me to plan a party I don’t want to go to?’ It’s like asking me to plan a Ukip convention.

“I shouldn’t have said that. I must not compare Ukip to the Brit Awards. Be mindful of what you say, David.

“The last few years I haven’t felt it and thought there would be someone better for the job.

“But me and a few people had redesigned it a few years ago, when it went from Earl’s Court to the O2, that went very well with James Corden.”

Brit Awards 2020
Dave on stage at the Brit Awards (Isabel Infantes/PA)

He also praised rapper Dave’s politically-charged performance, in which he called Boris Johnson as “real racist”.

“I watched him in dress rehearsal and it was spectacular,” he said.

“But something happened to him (on stage) and he was channelling something and it was a career-defining moment.”

Joseph was in conversation with BBC Radio 1 host Annie Mac during the day’s keynote interview, Inside The Industry With David Joseph.