Aitch took home his first-ever BRIT Award this past weekend, and he’s dedicated it to the city of Manchester in a heartfelt message.
The chart-topping rapper – real name Harrison Armstrong, who proudly hails from Moston in North Manchester – found himself on the national stage on Saturday night as he clinched the win for Best Hip Hop/Grime/Rap Act at the 2023 BRIT Awards.
The 23-year-old was the first act to be presented with an award on the night of ceremony, which took place at The O2 Arena in London, and was up against some tough competition with the likes of fellow superstars Stormzy, Dave, and more in the same category.
But the local lad beat the lot to be one with the trophy in his hands on the night.
Although he hoped he would’ve been able to have “a couple more drinks” before stepping up on stage to accept the award to calm his nerves, the rapper was able to deliver a heartfelt speech and express gratitude for his journey and how far he’s come.
“I’m not gonna lie, I never get a bit scared, but I’m sh****ng myself,” Aitch said as he began his speech, “I thought I’d have time to have a couple more drinks before I came on here, but obviously not.”
He then thanked his record label, everyone on his team, and sent love to friends, family, and fans
After thanking those who helped him get to where he is today, Aitch then took some time in his speech to reflect on where he came from: “Not to get all cliché, but I just want to say, not many people where I’m from – especially my side of Manchester – get the opportunity to stand up here and receive such an amazing gift or award.”
He then discussed his motivations, as the speech turned heartfelt.
“I think that’s the main reason I do it for – to set examples and let people know that it’s possible, no matter where you’re from.
“Just because five million people haven’t done it before, you can [still] do it.”
He closed out his speech by encouraging everyone in the audience to be proud of themselves and their journeys as well: “I think everyone should be proud of themselves in the room just for being here and sometimes we need to kick back and reflect on how well everyone’s doing, because I don’t do that personally enough.
“Big up everyone, respect. 0161 in the building. All love, thank you.”
The rapper then took to his Instagram the day after the ceremony to dedicate his first-ever BRIT Award to the city of Manchester: “This one’s for Manchester. The next one’s all for me.”
Aside from Aitch’s win, Manchester and the North West were also well represented in the form of several other local winners.
Wilmslow originated, now and Manchester-based, indie pop rock band The 1975 took home the award for Best Rock/Alternative Act, and then there was, of course, serial winner Harry Styles – with the Holmes Chapel singing superstar scooping four awards for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop/R&B Act.
Styles also opened the show with a performance of his smash-hit single As It Was.
Other big winners on the night included Isle of Wight indie rock band Wet Leg, who also took home three awards and, like Styles, too won big at this year’s GRAMMYs last weekend.
Beyoncé won two awards in the international categories, while Irish rockers Fontaines D.C. won Best International Group, and Becky Hill won Best Dance Act.
Featured Image – ITV
Eurovision 2023 grand final to be screened live in cinemas across the UK
The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest is to be screened live in cinemas across the UK for the first time ever.
With fans from across the globe set to descend on Liverpool in a couple of months time as the UK hosts the 2023 edition of the world’s biggest song competition on behalf of last year’s winners Ukraine, those who weren’t lucky enough to secure tickets will instead by able to head to their nearest cinema to experience the action on the big screen.
Distributor CinemaLive has announced it will be broadcasting the Eurovision grand final show live in cinemas nationwide for the first time ever.
It means that Eurovision fans up and down the country who missed out on grabbing tickets to the final – which sold out in under 40 minutes after going on sale earlier this month – will be able to come together to celebrate what is set to be the “biggest, brightest, boldest music party of the year”.
500 cinemas across the UK, including several here in Greater Manchester, will be screening the grand final on Saturday 13 May.
Vue, Odeon, Cineworld, and Everyman are just some of the cinema chains taking part.
Vue Manchester Printworks, Odeon Great Northern, and Everyman Manchester are the Manchester city centre venues lined-up to screen the event – with cinemas in the The Lowry Outlet Mall, Trafford Centre, Didsbury, Heaton Moor, Ashton-under-Lyne, Bolton, and more also set to welcome Eurovision fans through their doors.
Event organisers say the screenings will encourage singalongs and fancy dress.
“We’re delighted to be working with the BBC to bring Eurovision’s grand final live into cinemas across the UK for the first time ever,” said John Travers from CinemaLive.
“We want audiences to enjoy themselves, so get your fancy dress on, and come together to enjoy this historic occasion on the big screen.”
With an illustrious entertainment career spanning over four decades, O’Grady may have been most well-known and loved by British audiences as a comedian, presenter, broadcaster, actor, writer, and the former drag queen Lily Savage – but he was also one of the nation’s most-famous dog lovers and animal rights advocates.
O’Grady was a longtime supporter and Ambassador of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, and helped raise the profile of the shelter to millions around the world through the hugely-popular ITV series Paul O’Grady: For The Love of Dogs.
Battersea says there’s “no doubting” that O’Grady’s influence has helped thousands of rescue animals find new homes over the years.
Over several series of the show, O’Grady would make an effort to spend quality time with these animals and show-off all of their quirks and loveable qualities, which went a long way to proving that rescue animals “really are the best pets”.
Paying an emotional tribute to O’Grady following his passing today, Peter Laurie – Chief Executive of Battersea – said: “To many, Paul O’Grady was the immensely popular TV and radio presenter and comedian who lit up their screens with his razor-sharp humour and perpetual generosity and warmth [but] Battersea will forever remember Paul as a devoted animal lover with the biggest heart, who fell head over heels in love with every dog he met at our centres.
“Paul will always be associated with Battersea and we are truly saddened to have lost such a true friend and huge part of our charity.
“Paul had an extremely hands on approach as a Battersea Ambassador and has been fundamental in helping our charity to communicate important campaign messages.
“He was a champion for the underdog and would do anything to ensure all animals live a healthy and happy life.
“He will be dearly missed.”
Since the news of O’Grady’s passing was announced, touching tributes have been pouring in in their hundreds from right across the world of entertainment and on social media.
Countless famous names have shared supportive messages and memories.
Emotional tributes to O’Grady have been flooding in all morning, both from those who knew and had worked with him in the past, and from those who admired his work and all that he achieved and had stood for throughout his respected career.