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NME Awards: Slowthai apologises to Katherine Ryan after 'shameful actions'

Slowthai and Katherine Ryan Image copyright Getty Images

Rapper Slowthai has "unreservedly apologised" to comedian Katherine Ryan after making sexual comments towards her at the NME Awards.

The 25-year-old said it started out as a joke but "escalated to a point of shameful actions on my part".

Katherine said Slowthai "didn't make me uncomfortable" but the artist was accused of harassing her.

The rapper also apologised to anyone who "saw a reflection of situations they've been in" in the videos.

The interaction between Slowthai and Katherine, who was co-hosting the awards, came before Slowthai won the hero of the year award - which was voted for by the public.

He's now asked for the award to be forwarded on to Katherine instead, saying: "I am not a hero."

NME said it would "take him up" on the offer.

Comedian Katherine replied telling Slowthai that "a bad day on social media passes so quickly".

Videos on social media show Slowthai and the Canadian comedian with their arms around each other, with co-host Julie Adenuga asking "What is happening?" after Slowthai told Katherine to smell his cologne.

"Babygirl, I don't want to have to do this to you right now, but everybody - she needs to understand the levels right now," Slowthai said to Katherine.

"If you want to do something, see me later," he said before walking off.

Later, when they were on stage together again, the pair had a conversation including sexual words and phrases, with Slowthai telling the crowd: "She wants me to tend to her flowers."

Katherine responded saying that she "loves" him - in a seemingly sarcastic tone.

"Thank you for the attention," she said, adding, "You are younger than my babysitter", as he left the stage.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Katherine Ryan later said Slowthai "didn't make me uncomfortable"

Plenty of people watching at home and in the Brixton Academy in south London tweeted to say that Katherine was using sarcasm to "mask her discomfort".

The host tweeted afterwards to say that she wasn't uncomfortable - but there has still been a lot of criticism for Slowthai's actions.

A number of women reacting online said they recognised the situation as one they'd been in.

The rapper apologised to those people, saying: "To any woman or man who saw a reflection of situations they've been in in those videos, I am sorry."

Slowthai was heckled for his behaviour towards Katherine when collecting the hero of the year award - leading to a scuffle.

"NME, thank you," Slowthai said, before pointing down at someone in the audience, saying "thank you for ruining my speech" and dropping his mic from the stage.

Someone then used the mic that Slowthai had dropped to call him a "wasteman", before the microphone and a drink were thrown at him.

The 25-year-old threw his own drink back before jumping down into the crowd where security staff held him back.

The Metropolitan police has confirmed to Newsbeat that no complaints were made, police did not attend the event and there is no investigation into what happened.

Slowthai had previously been announced as the ambassador for next month's Record Store Day - but that invitation has been withdrawn since the NME Awards.

"The individual record shops who organise Record Store Day have spoken this morning and have unanimously agreed that Slowthai's behaviour and statements do not reflect their values or those of Record Store Day," a spokesperson says in a statement.

The winners

Slowthai, who was nominated in seven categories, also won best collaboration with Mura Masa for Deal Wiv it.

Taylor Swift was also honoured at the ceremony, picking up the best solo act in the world award.

The singer told the audience that thanks to a previous NME award she won she is now able to display two of the middle finger-shaped trophies side by side in her home.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Taylor Swift was at the event in south London

She added: "This is like the craziest awards show I have ever been to, thank you."

In the other categories Little Simz picked up the award for best British album for GREY Area, while AJ Tracey won best British song with Ladbroke Grove.

The best album in the world award went to Lana Del Rey's Norman F***ing Rockwell, while best song in the world went to Billie Eilish for Bad Guy.

Best British solo artist went to FKA twigs and best British band was chosen as The 1975.

US heavy metal band Slipknot won the best band in the world gong.

Newsbeat has contacted Slowthai's management for comment.

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