2002 4ever

Love Of Huns’ Definitive Guide To A Seminal BRIT Awards Moment

It’s raining huns. x

It started with the dulcet tones of Dido, performing her brooding hit “Here With Me.” The 2002 BRIT Awards also included a scrap between Westlife’s Brian McFadden and UK garage collective So Solid Crew (Brian started it), but the real cherry on top? The Best British Single category. Presented by Simon Cowell, Hear’Say, Bob the Builder, Atomic Kitten, Geri Halliwell, and Robbie Williams were among those going head to head for the title. Ultimately, S Club 7 took the trophy home, but the real winners? Us, the public.

“Such a random mix! Obsessed that Bob the Builder managed to worm his way in there,” says @LoveofHuns. “For me personally, it’s between two top contenders: S Club 7 and Geri Halliwell. I would have been happy with either one. Such a hard year. They're all so good!”

With more than 638,000 followers, @LoveOfHuns is a bona fide expert in the intricacies of ‘00s pop culture. “I started the account five years ago at uni, literally for me and my friends to enjoy,” the account’s anonymous creator tells me. “There were a lot of Big Brother marathons and old EastEnders clips in our lives at the time. We all shared the same love of ‘00s pop culture and how ridiculous it all was. That was how all of our hangovers were spent, and the page just kind of grew.”

For the uninitiated, hun culture is a warm-hearted fandom of a certain kind of down-to-earth, ordinary woman doing surreal, often exceedingly decadent things — just because they can. It’s difficult to put your finger on what exactly it is, but as a movement, hun culture is a celebration of relatable, quintessentially British women who embody a kind of high camp in their prosecco-swigging, holibob-having antics. And unlike other meme subjects, huns are celebrated with warm, genuine adoration. Because, at the end of the day, everyone can identify with the unnamed hero who belted out Amy Winehouse in a Nottingham kebab shop at 3 a.m. or Adele’s way of carrying sachets of Heinz ketchup, should the need ever arise.

@LoveOfHuns’ top-tier huns? “Katie Price is in the press for a lot of stuff, and I don’t think she’s the most wholesome hun, but she emerged at the beginning of hun culture and is still very present in it now,” they tell me. “Another personal favourite hun would be Alison Hammond, just for the instant serotonin. Sonia from EastEnders was my favourite hun when I started the page though.” Sounds like the perfect Come Dine With Me lineup, frankly.

Over the course of multiple lockdowns, the @LoveOfHuns account has been, one could argue, elevated to the status of national treasure; countering the monotony with clips of Sonia from EastEnders playing the trumpet and Alison Hammond reducing the entire This Morning studio to tears. “It was nice that I could entertain people,” they say. “It’s quite niche, and something that everyone can enjoy together. It’s always nice to get messages from people. One time, Katy Perry even piped up!” they add. “That was a very bizarre and confusing moment.”

But what of the bizarre and confusing award for Best British Single nominees from the 2002 BRITS? Here, @LoveOfHuns breaks it down, including a definitive hun rating from each act.

S Club 7 — “Don’t Stop Movin’”

“So S Club 7 won the award, and I'd say that's absolutely spot on, and very well deserved. Surely that was S Club’s peak around 2002? I feel like they were the biggest British band of the time. They’re a quintessential British pop band, aren’t they? And this is a very hun song. I obviously love every single member of S Club 7, apart from when Jo O'Meara had her racist phase in Big Brother, and we won’t talk about that. For me, this is a top contender. ‘Never Had A Dream Come True’ is my favourite S Club song, though — the one with the snowy music video.”

Hun rating: A solid 9/10

Bob the Builder — “Mambo No. 5”

“Bob is definitely a hun-enabler and a British icon. He’s not the character I would’ve chosen to sing that song, but that makes it even more bizarre and weirdly British. For me, that song is a primary school disco song, but I think he did it justice. Bob is the builder of us huns. If he was around now, he’d be doing Instagram and TikTok tutorials on how to spray-paint a plastic Flash detergent bottle and make it look bedazzled and worth £100. I could also see him doing brand partnerships with B&M. I was actually shocked to find out Bob was in the running. He’s not giving full hunness, but he’s definitely up there.”

Hun rating: 7/10

Geri Halliwell — “It’s Raining Men”

“S Club 7 are all huns, but obviously Geri’s got the Spice Girls behind her. ‘It’s Raining Men’ is such an iconic cover and a massive LGBTQ+ song. You cannot go to a gay bar without hearing it. Geri’s performances of the song are just the highest camp thing ever. It’s a masterpiece. The fact that it was on the Bridget Jones soundtrack just makes it the crème de la crème. Bridget Jones is a ’00s hun, too.”

Hun rating: 10/10

Daniel Bedingfield — “Gotta Get Thru This”

“He’s actually Natasha Bedingfield’s brother, right? Thank God, I panicked for a second. Honestly, he’s not as iconic as Natasha, but we can appreciate him anyway because it’s an absolute banger. It can come on at any point in the night, and it’ll get everyone going. I like the song, but he’s not giving me much. I couldn’t tell you about any of his personality traits. He blends in with every other white male and he’s not Natasha at the end of the day…”

Hun rating: 6/10

Atomic Kitten — “Whole Again”

“The fact that they brought it back again last year for the Euros… I love the fact that the football lads love it and the huns love it. It’s a universal bop, and one of Atomic Kitten’s biggest and best songs. Each member is fully embracing ’00s hun culture of that era through the music videos. This one for me ranks quite high.”

Hun rating: 8/10

DJ Pied Piper and the Masters of Ceremonies — “Do You Really Like It?”

“[Singing] ‘Do you really like it?’ I think this one is a hun garage song. If you were out at a brunch and this came on, all the huns would get going. I couldn’t tell you what DJ Pied Piper looks like though, and I don’t think he’s a hun. It is a banger though, and everyone knows it.”

Hun rating: 6.5/10

Hear’Say — “Pure and Simple”

“I love ‘Pure and Simple.’ Hear’Say were following in the footsteps of S Club’s success, really, but this is a song that’s highly appreciated in hun culture. Popstars and all those early reality shows in general were just iconic and brought us some of our biggest huns we know and love today. Hear’Say really are part of the process, and being part of an ITV singing contest gives them a few extra marks.”

Hun rating: 8/10

Gorillaz — “Clint Eastwood”

“[Sigh] Not to be a hun, and like, it is a banger, but Gorillaz and hun culture don’t go hand in hand... I can’t imagine this playing at a brunch. Out of all of them, this one is the oddball. I appreciate their work, but they were never in with a chance, not up against the likes of Atomic Kitten, Bob the Builder, and Hear’Say. It’s a bit awkward and embarrassing that they’re here, TBH.”

Hun rating: 5/10

So Solid Crew — “21 Seconds”

“I actually love this song, but I don’t know how highly it would rank on the hun scale. They’re giving me ’00s, but they’re not giving me hun. How many people were in So Solid Crew again… about 25? Lovely! They had Lisa Maffia, of course, and DJ Harvey — they’re probably the best-known ones out of the lot. Lisa Maffia is definitely a hun, but apart from her, So Solid Crew are not huns.”

Hun rating: 7/10

Robbie Williams — “Eternity/The Road To Mandalay”

“I don’t even know that one. Should I know that one? Why has he got a double whammy when everyone else only gets one? Is that normal? [‘The Road to Mandalay’ plays down the phone.] Oh OK, I recognise it. Robbie Williams is a bit of a hun, but he’s also quite annoying. I don’t rate it that highly, is that harsh? If it was ‘Angels,’ it’d be another story, but these feel like some of his weakest songs. He was never in with a chance, but since he wrote ‘Eternity’ for Geri Halliwell, I’ll give him an extra 0.5.”

Hun rating: 5.5/10