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How will Little Mix fare as hosts of the MTV EMAs?

By Mark Savage
BBC music reporter

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image captionThe pop group previously performed at the 2018 MTV EMAs in Bilbao, Spain

Little Mix are to follow in the footsteps of Katy Perry, Selena Gomez and Borat by hosting the MTV EMAs.

The group, who have four nominations at the awards show, will also perform their new single Sweet Melody.

Lady Gaga leads the pack with seven nominations, while Justin Bieber and BTS have five apiece.

The ceremony, on 8 November, will feature filmed performances from "multiple locations" around Europe, instead of the usual arena-based show.

Sam Smith, Maluma, Doja Cat, Yungblud and Zara Larsson are all on the bill, with more performers and presenters to be announced.

Little Mix said singing and presenting at the ceremony was an "honour" and a "dream" - but their predecessors have set some interesting precedents for them to live up to.

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image captionEva Longoria and Katy Perry went through multiple costume changes as MTV EMA hosts

In 2010, actress Eva Longoria presented part of the ceremony dressed as a ham; while 2008 host Katy Perry sat on a giant prop banana, before revealing: "Girls, it's not how big the banana is, it's how you sit on it."

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen hosted the show in 2005, making a number of off-colour remarks about the female acts; and offering to sell Madonna a baby.

Ed Sheeran, meanwhile, appeared to have made ample use of the free bar while presiding over the 2015 awards. "I think you're drunk," his co-host Ruby Rose commented (Sheeran agreed) before feeding him pasta in an attempt to sober him up.

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Hosts also have to deal with the onstage antics of the performers - which isn't always the easiest task.

In 2003, Beyonce and Sean Paul were hit by a technical issue during their performance of Baby Boy, which caused a single bar of the song to get stuck in a loop. This continued for nearly a minute, until the stars and their dancers walked off stage - leaving Christina Aguilera to pick up the pieces.

And three years later, Kanye West crashed the stage in Copenhagen, in the first of what was to become a regular series of award show protests.

The rapper was incensed that French dance duo Justice had been awarded best video, and interrupted their speech, insisting he was more deserving of the trophy because his Touch The Sky video cost $1 million, starred Pamela Anderson and featured Kanye jumping across a canyon.

"If I don't win, the award show loses credibility," he pouted.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionKanye's EMA stage invasion predated his infamous "Imma let you finish" interruption of Taylor Swift's acceptance speech in 2009

Recent ceremonies have been more sedate - with the biggest shock of the 2019 EMAs being Ariana Grande's failure to win a single prize, after receiving seven nominations.

Whatever happens, MTV's president of music said he was confident in Little Mix's ability to handle the pressure.

"Hosting and performing is no small feat, but there is no doubt this powerhouse group will crush it," he said in a statement.

The EMAs will be broadcast in 180 countries on 8 November; and fans can vote for the winners until 2 November.

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