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Roman Kemp criticised for ‘excruciating’ exchange with Kylie Minogue at the Brit Awards

Roman Kemp is being criticised for his awkward exchange with Kylie Minogue at the Brit Awards, where he made the pop superstar drink beer out of a shoe.

Kemp, who recently left his Capital Breakfast radio show, co-hosted the annual music ceremony with Maya Jama and Clara Amfo at the O2 Arena on Saturday (2 March).

During the event, Kemp roamed around the floor where the stars were seated, and sat down to speak with Minogue before she was presented with the Global Icon award.

The 31-year-old appeared slightly nervous as he twice asked Minogue how she was doing, before producing a pair of high heels and asking her to join him in an Australian tradition, dubbed a “shoey”, where alcohol is drunk from a shoe.

“If I could ask for your shoe, could I do that?” Kemp asked Minogue, who appeared baffled by his request.

“Do I do this?” Minogue asked the audience. “By the way, I’ve never…” Looking flustered, she exclaimed: “I don’t know!”

While the audience cheered as both Minogue and Kemp took a sip of beer out of the stiletto heels, which Kemp said were “clean”, viewers at home were less impressed.

 (Brit Awards, ITV)
(Brit Awards, ITV)

“Kylie Minogue is an absolute treasure but this is excruciating,” music fan Andrew Jazzie tweeted, sharing stills of the moment Kemp got Minogue to do the “shoey”.

Another viewer called it “car crash TV”, writing: “The presenting is so poor, Roman Kemp is continually dying on his arse. The award announcers are weird choices. The atmosphere is dead. Kylie must be wondering why she bothered.”

“Good god. Just catching up with the Brits,” one audience member said, “and Roman Kemp’s interviewing and getting Kylie to drink from a stiletto was beyond cringe. I don’t think I can watch anymore. Dreadful stuff.”

More viewers said that Minogue looked “uncomfortable” and said the moment was “degrading”, particularly given the “Spinning Around” star was there to collect an award in recognition of a career spanning more than three decades.

Meanwhile, The Guardian Australia’s deputy culture editor Sian Cain called it a “diplomatic incident”, accusing Kemp of “insolence”.

“A shoey is something Australians inflict on Harry Styles and Post Malone when they come to town,” she said.

“But you can’t pressure Kylie into drinking foot juice, and certainly not if you are a Brit. Call the ambassador.”

The Independent has contacted Kemp’s representatives for comment.

Kemp, who is the son of Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp and singer Shirlie Holliman, recently announced that he was stepping down from his Capital Radio breakfast show after almost a decade with the station.

Roman Kemp at the Brit Awards 2024 (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Roman Kemp at the Brit Awards 2024 (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

“What I can tell you is I’m not saying goodbye right now, I’m not leaving the show today and that’s it, but it’s not far away,” Kemp told listeners in February.

“It will come and that goodbye will come in five to six weeks. It’s not a decision that has come overnight either, it’s massive, I’ve not found it easy at all.

“Capital is my family, you as the wonderful listeners that you’ve been, you’ve been with me at my best times and my absolute lowest … Capital and Global have helped change me.”

The Brit Awards were praised over the weekend for acknowledging the talents and success of British singer RAYE, the undisputed star of the night who dominated with five award wins.

The musician born Rachel Keen swept the ceremony with awards for Artist of the Year and Album of the Year with her debut My 21st Century Blues, which she released independently after a public split from her former label, Polydor.

RAYE accepts the Brit Award for Album of the Year with her grandmother by her side (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
RAYE accepts the Brit Award for Album of the Year with her grandmother by her side (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Critic Mark Beaumont said RAYE’s recognition by the Brits heralded a new era for pop after “years of deadening stagnation”.

“Her board-sweeping success is unlikely to mark a total sea change in popular music, but it might at least signify that the old gods can be toppled, generational lines can be drawn – and music can have the appearance of moving on,” he wrote for The Independent.

You can find the full list of winners here.