The organizers of this year’s Brit Awards have issued an apology to Adele for cutting short her second acceptance speech of the evening — an incident which led to the singer raising her middle finger to the crowd and millions of watching TV viewers in frustration.
The 23-year-old singer flipped the bird after her acceptance speech for collecting the British Album of the Year award was cut short by host, British comedian and actor James Corden. Despite the Album of the Year trophy being the Brit Award’s most prestigious prize, Adele was only allowed to utter a few lines of gratitude before being told to make way for a closing live performance from U.K. indie rock act Blur.
Adele, who also won the British female solo artist award at yesterday evening’s ceremony, held at London’s O2 Arena, later said that her middle-finger gesture was aimed at executives and producers in charge of the event.
“I got cut off during my speech and flung the middle finger. But that finger was to the suits at the Brit Awards, not to my fans,” Adele told reporters after the event.
Earlier in the evening, Blur singer Damon Albarn delivered a rambling two-minute-plus acceptance speech when collecting the outstanding contribution to music award, which contributed to the show running over its allotted time.
“We regret this happened and we send our deepest apologies to Adele that her big moment was cut short this evening due to the live show over-running,” said a statement from Brit Awards organizers. “We don’t want this to undermine her incredible achievement in winning our night’s biggest award. It tops off what’s been an incredible year for her,” the statement went on to say.
U.K. television station ITV, who broadcast the event live, has also apologized to the London-born singer with a spokesperson stating: “The Brits is a live event. Unfortunately the programme was overrunning and we had to move on. We would like to apologize to Adele for the interruption.”
Corden also weighed into the controversy, saying that he felt bad “about having to cut Adele off” and “I don’t understand why I was made to.”
“I was having the best night of my life and then I was told to cut her off,” Corden said in a post-show interview broadcast on ITV sister channel ITV2. “She’s the biggest star in the world and I love her. I don’t understand what happened. I’m really upset,” he went on to say.
The incident, which has made headlines around the world, capped an otherwise triumphant night for the recently crowned six-time Grammy winner. In addition to taking home awards for British Female Solo Act and Album of the Year, Adele delivered a knock-out rendition of “Rolling In The Deep,” marking her first U.K. live show since recovering from throat surgery.
According to overnight figures, an audience of 6.2 million watched last night’s ceremony, which also saw Bruno Mars pick up the International Male Solo Artist award and Coldplay take home the British Band title.