Arctic Monkeys take Mercury prize

The Arctic Monkeys win the Nationwide Mercury Prize for their debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not.

The Arctic Monkeys tonight won the Nationwide Mercury Prize for their debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not.

The Sheffield-based band were favourites to take the £20,000 coveted prize, but the news still came as a surprise as Mercury judges are notorious for confounding public expectations.

The shocked band said the prize should have gone to a fellow nominee from Sheffield.

On receiving their prize, they joked: "Somebody call 999. Richard Hawley's been robbed."

They added: "Thanks everyone, thanks so much everyone that helped us. We are a bit surprised because normally it doesn't go to a band that has sold as many records as we have.

"We're very, very pleased because it's just good tunes, that's what we try to do. There are no tricks. Too many people try to do too many tricks."

At a press conference following the ceremony, lead singer Alex Turner added: "We deserved it because we had the best record."

This year's list of 12 nominees was selected from a total of more than 200 albums. It included a comeback by 80s act Scritti Politti, Guillemots, grime artist Sway and Radiohead's frontman Thom Yorke.

The Arctic Monkeys built their fanbase via the internet and burst onto the music scene with the single I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor.

Their first album became the fastest-selling debut in chart history, selling more than 360,000 copies in its first week.

Press Association

The GuardianTramp

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