EVEN superstar Ed Sheeran needs some fashion reassurance before going off to a swanky bash.
But if one of your closest pals is Elton John, you’re halfway towards nailing it — as the Bad Habits singer told me at last night’s GQ Men of the Year Awards.
In fact, the Rocketman singer hooked Ed up with a rainbow Versace blazer for the night.
Ed, who won Solo Artist of the Year last night and was presented with his award by Stormzy, told me: “It’s weird, I’ve always hated suits and they make me feel uncomfortable — and yet something like this makes me feel all right because it’s so out-there. Elton hooked me up with Donatella Versace and I thought, ‘Let’s go for it! It’s a big night and it’s great to be back out, so why not?’
“I actually feel pretty good in it and it’s a while since there were big events on, so here I am. I’d feel less comfortable in an ordinary suit. It’s easier being in this.”
He added: “Before I came tonight I FaceTimed Elton to show him the results. He’s been slagging off my boring wardrobe for years. I’m not really a fashion guy but I’ve had to start to show an interest – he loves it. Elton approved — it’s very him.”
The star also told me he’s excited about the release of his new album Equals next month — and he has every reason to be, given that its first tracks have stormed the charts already.
News of his comeback after an 18-month hiatus came in April when I revealed he was spotted filming a video for Bad Habits dressed as a vampire on a South London high street.
NICK Grimshaw was excited to be back at the ceremony, having picked up the Radio Personality gong at the 2013 bash.
He said of his trophy on Instagram: “The GQ Awards are always a hoot and still this remains the poshest thing in my house and quite a good murder weapon should an intruder attack.”
Love Island host Laura Whitmore also told fans on social media that she was thrilled to be going “out out” to her first big awards do after lockdown.
Ed joked: “Yeah, it wasn’t very discreet, was it? But it’s cool, the track was coming out and I’m really pleased with how it has been received. The album is next month and it’s nerve-wracking but it’s cool to be back at it. I’ve enjoyed a break but I’m really excited for people to hear it.”
Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker and his son George were among the stars who walked the red carpet at the bash, which was in stark contrast to last year’s event — held virtually for the first time in its 23-year history.
Maya Jama led the glamour in a plunging black dress while new mum Ellie Goulding opted for a lilac frock for one of her first events since giving birth in May.
It was the glitziest night since restrictions eased, with Idris Elba and his model wife Sabrina hosting the proceedings at the Tate Modern on London’s South Bank.
Among the night’s winners were Sacha Baron Cohen, who collected the Icon award, while footie manager Gareth Southgate won the Inspiration of the Year gong for leading the England team to the final of Euro 2020.
Sir Anthony Hopkins was named as the recipient of the Legend award and Bobby Gillespie was presented with the Outstanding Contribution prize by pal Paul Weller.
Prince Harry also appeared by live video link to present the Heroes of the Year title to Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, DR Catherine Green and the team behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine.
HOSTS Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina must have been exhausted before the event even started.
And Sabrina can have been none too pleased to see Anne-Marie arrive in the same dress.
The awards did not start until after dinner was served at 8pm – but they had begun rehearsals ten hours earlier.
After the ceremony, guests went upstairs at the Tate Modern for an after-party – the first for a major awards show since the 2020 Brits, due to Covid.
ARLO’S A RAYA PLAYER
ARLO PARKS was named Breakthrough Music Artist of the Year but may have been in the market for more than just a trophy on the night.
I’ve learned that the Brit winner is looking for love on celebrity dating app Raya.
The bisexual singer-songwriter has an account on the exclusive service, which you can only join by being referred by a user and then approved by a panel.
Other celebrities who have been known to use it in the past include Channing Tatum, Demi Lovato and Paul Mescal.
With loads of stars in the room last night, she will have been spoiled for choice.
FORGET the awards, it was the winners’ goodie bags the celebrities were really after.
They were packed with more than £12,000 of treats, including a stay at a Nobu Hotel, a flight on a semi-private plane, a Santiago Watch by Boss, £200 earphones and membership to The Ivy Club – which is worth £1,750.
But items the winners may want to re-gift included a £45 bonsai tree Lego kit and a sleeping mask that cost a whopping £50.
I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I’d spent that much on a mask.
I KNEW Anne-Marie would be a laugh after hearing about her recent video shoot for single Kiss My (Uh Oh) with Little Mix.
The scene was set in a nightclub but industry bosses tried to ban her and Jade Thirlwall drinking real alcohol.
Anne-Marie told me: “They were trying to give us fake s**t and we’re like, ‘No, give us some Malibu and coke’. Eventually they did.”
The single is currently No8 in the charts.
EXES Stormzy and Maya Jama were in the same room for the first time since it was revealed she is dating basketball player Ben Simmons.
They dated for four years until 2019 but then secretly spent last Christmas together, months before Maya started dating the Australian NBA player.
Ahead of the big night, where Stormzy presented Ed Sheeran with the Solo Artist of the Year award, Maya said on Instagram she couldn’t wait to be a “glamorous b***h” and show off her outfit.