Mark Owen thanked bandmate Robbie Williams for rejoining Take That as the manband were crowned Best British Group for the first time at the Brit Awards.
The five-piece kicked off this year’s event with a show-stopping performance of their new single Kidz.
They took to the stage at the O2 in Greenwich, south-east London, last night, accompanied by an advance guard of dancers dressed like riot police complete with branded shields.
It was the routine they wanted to perform at the X Factor final which was reportedly axed by the talent show’s boss, Simon Cowell, because the final came shortly after clashes between police and students during angry protests over university tuition fees.
They accepted the group gong from Dermot O’Leary, beating bands including the xx and Mumford and Sons to the prize.
On stage, Owen gestured to Williams and said: “Can I say thanks for coming back mate. Appreciate it.
“It’s a real pleasure for the five of us to be up here.”
Although Take That have previously won seven Brits they had never before won Best Group.
Speaking backstage, Gary Barlow said: “It’s incredible. Obviously there has been a big change for us in band members and to win best band was amazing.”
Asked how he was going to celebrate, Williams said: “We’ve got a Universal party and then who knows? I can’t wait to get back to the flat, hug the wife and have a cup of tea and biscuits.”
It was also a good night for Tinie Tempah, real name Patrick Okogwu, who won two awards - British Breakthrough Act and British Single for his debut Pass Out.
Picking up the first award, the rapper, who grew up just down the road from the O2 in Plumstead, said: “I want to big up God and my family for sticking by me when times are hard.”
Backstage after the ceremony he said: “I’m going to get really messed up and everyone here is invited.
“We are going to get really wrecked.”
The 22-year-old - who was this year’s most nominated act - missed out on awards for best British male and best album.
Album of the year went to nu-folkies Mumford and Sons for Sigh No More.
Accepting the award from The Who frontman Roger Daltrey, Marcus Mumford said: “This is very bizarre, very strange. Thank you very much indeed. We are very honoured, very humbled.”
Earlier in the night, they had taken to the stage to perform their song Timshel - their first performance on a prime-time show.
Plan B, who picked up the award for British Male Solo Artist, accepted his award from a previous winner - Dizzee Rascal.
The rapper, who reinvented himself as a soul singer on his latest album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks, made a short speech which he said was “from my heart”.
He thanked his family, friends and management and then bowed out, saying: “Thank you everybody and that is it. Thank you.”
Arcade Fire won the International Album award for The Suburbs and were named Best International Group.
The Canadian outfit’s singer Win Butler paid tribute to the English bands that influenced them including New Order, The Clash and David Bowie.
The Critics’ Choice award went to Jessie J who said she wanted it to spur her on to greater success.
Speaking backstage, she said: “Pop stands for popular. I want to be a pop icon and take Britain across the world.”
Cee Lo Green collected the International Male Solo Artist and said: “My heart is racing, I’m so excited. Thank you so much for this honour. Such a pleasant surprise.”
The International Breakthrough Act award, voted for by MTV viewers, went to Justin Bieber.
The teenage heart-throb, who rose to fame on YouTube, said: “Thank you. I don’t know really what to say, I want to thank all my fans over here.
“You guys are amazing, I love you guys.”
Rihanna won the International Female Award and singer-songwriter Laura Marling was named best British Female Solo Artist and dedicated the award to her mum.
The night included performances from Arcade Fire, Adele, Rihanna, Arcade Fire, Plan B and Tinie Tempah and climaxed with a performance of Forget You by Cee Lo Green and Paloma Faith.