A self-deprecating speech from Phil Collins and another top award for Amy Winehouse were the highlights of the Ivor Novello awards held in central London today.
Hosted by the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters, the Ivors celebrate excellence in songwriting. Collins, the much-maligned Another Day in Paradise singer, received the international achievement award, while the much-garlanded Winehouse won the category 'best song musically and lyrically', for Love is a Losing Game.Receiving his award from Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, with whom he collaborated in the 1970s, Collins thanked the academy and the gorilla whose appearance as a drummer in a Cadbury's Dairy Milk advert helped send Collins's In the Air Tonight to number one for a third time.
"I know now what I want to do and what I don't want to do," he told the audience at London's Grosvenor hotel. "I have two sons back in Switzerland and my life is now focused around them, but I do know that I will continue to write songs. As for the gorilla, I might put him forward as the next drummer of Genesis."
Winehouse attended the ceremony, but arrived too late to collect her award. Instead, her father Mitch received it and made a speech on her behalf. "She's sorry she can't be here but she sends her love," Winehouse senior said. "She is getting better and she'd like to send her love to everyone at the Ivors who first recognised her talent."
Other winners included Mika, who was named songwriter of the year, Soul II Soul's Jazzie B, who claimed the new Ivors inspiration award, Radiohead, who won best album for In Rainbows, and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, who claimed the lifetime achievement award.