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A MODEST! HONOR

Richard Griffiths and Harry Magee were honored with a MITs Award Monday night in London during a ceremony that featured tributes and warm words for the Modest! founders from colleagues and friends, while raising money for the BRIT Trust and Nordoff Robbins.

Taking place at Grosvenor House Hotel, the event featured performances from Katherine Jenkins and Alexis FfrenchNiall Horan and Olly Murs, and Alison Moyet. Film director Richard Curtis presented the award, describing the duo as “two profoundly decent and caring people who’ve managed to make successes of so many careers.”

Modest! partner Will Bloomfield spoke about Griffiths and Magee’s commitment to their artists and staff: “It’s not just about ticket and record sales, it’s about happiness and fulfilment for everyone that you come into contact with. You are the most honest two people that I know and it’s a lesson to all of us around you.”

Griffiths first “thanked god” for Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, who fired Magee and him from BMG, the catalyst for the launch of Modest, before thanking his wife and family “who have stuck by me throughout.” He continued with a nod to the value of management.

“We are truly honoured by the fact that we are the first managers to be presented this award, and it’s a late acknowledgement by the business of the importance that management brings to all facets of our business. 

“It’s something that people need to be much more aware of, and that working with management closely is going to help you do much, much better with your artists. I hope that this will be the start of the industry as a whole starting to take into account what it is managers do, because at the end of the day, the manager is the only person who is dealing in every aspect of an artist’s life, and we do it fucking well." Griffiths concluded with a thanks to his artists. “I couldn’t go on further without thanking the people without whom none of us would be here and that is the artists. Sure, we like selling out three Wembley Stadiums with the Spice Girls, that’s a kick, but going down and seeing Mae Muller perform and George Cosby’s new record coming together, these are the things that make us excited and want to keep doing what we are doing.”

Magee paid tribute to those involved in organizing the event, his wife and children, and a long list of those he has formed bonds with over the years,  among them Richard DaviesJazz SummersMartin ToherAndy Prevezer, Sarah Vaughan, Mike O’Keefe, and Griffiths. 

Their speeches followed a raft of heartfelt tributes via video from the likes of Steve BarnettEmma BanksLittle Mix5SOS,  Murs, One Direction members, Rob StringerClive DavisLucian GraingeSharon Osbourne and Denis Handlin. Those preceded a sketch poking fun at Griffiths and Magee’s working style (clue: one is more patient than the other) as a Modest! themed mock up of The Office, with cameos from Capitol U.K.’s Nick Raphael and Jo Charrington as wannabe rap duo #Jonick, CAA’s Emma Banks as the cleaner and Mike Greek the driver. Olly Murs and Niall Horan were Griffiths and Magee, and UMPG’s Mike McCormack made an appearance as the canteen chef. 

After sitting down to a dinner of beef followed by apple pie, and plenty of good red wine, we hear Griffiths was later discovered telling the hotel bar staff about that time he got fired from BMG. 

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