And Finally Artist News Beef Of The Week

Beef Of The Week #346: Ed Sheeran and James Blunt v The Truth

By | Published on Friday 10 March 2017

Ed Sheeran

In general, news stories in 2016 were not much fun. Each day, something new came along that made the previous day’s calamity seem mild by comparison. By November, I think it’s fair to say we’d all had enough. But then one story came along that brightened up the world. Sure, it involved violence and permanent injury, but everything was alright in the end, so it was OK to laugh about it. Probably. Look, you’ve got to take what you can get.

I am, of course, referring to the news that broke right in the last gasps of 2016 that Princess Beatrice had accidently stabbed Ed Sheeran in the face with a sword while staging a mock knighting of James Blunt.

The Sun reported that during a party at the Royal Lodge in Windsor, the home of Beatrice’s father Prince Andrew, Blunt had mentioned he’d quite fancy being Sir James. She ran off and got a sword, but misjudged its weight when she swung it back and cut Sheeran’s right cheek – which explains why he now has a scar there. He went off to hospital to get sewn up, but came back afterwards to assure the princess that everything was alright.

It’s a great story. It’s got everything. Well, not everything. But it does have a popstar – two popstars! – and a member of the royal family being daft as shit. It’s both the most and least rock n roll story ever told at the same time. Change the characters a bit (probably throw in Keith Moon somewhere) and this would have been the stuff of legend.

Thing is, you could have changed the characters to some more exciting people without affecting the accuracy of your report, because it turns out none of this actually happened. The greatest story of 2016 – the only thing that made any of us crack even half a smile all year – is a load of bollocks. Should have guessed, really. It was all too good to be true.

“Ed was drunk, messing around, and he cut himself”, Blunt tells Shortlist in a new interview. “We made a fancy story up; people fell for it. It was very embarrassing. All of it [was made up]. Apart from the actual scar. It’s bizarre that people fell for it. I blame him. He must be desperate – he’s trying to sell records”.

This might explain why Sheeran himself was quite so cagey about the whole incident when he was asked about it on Absolute Radio earlier this year, only offering up that his face “did get cut by a sword”, but little else. “James Blunt would like me to tell everyone that it was him and that he was trying to reclaim his pop career by killing me”, he added, just telling lies upon lies by this point.

If you like a good conspiracy theory, Sheeran’s awkward reluctance to discuss the event once he was back on the promo circuit could have been seen as proof he’d got in trouble for letting it slip off the record that Princess Beatrice was the aggressor who slashed open his face. They might be a nonsense organisation that makes little sense in the modern age, but that British royal family still wields a lot of power. Maybe Ed was worried they might come back wielding more swords if he gave a formal interview about the whole fracas.

Though, if Blunt is to be trusted here, it seems that Ed was possibly more worried that -rather than exposing the careless sword skills of a Princess – he had actually falsely accused a royal of not knowing how to handle a sword. Which in itself could result in a serious rebuke from the family Windsor. Or at least ruin his chances of a pop knighthood.

Though, given it seems that what actually happened here is that Ed Sheeran picked up a sword and somehow dropped it on his own face, you can see why he might want to make up something a little more dramatic (or comedic) to explain the scar.

After all, such bad swordsmanship surely also puts you out of the running for a future knighthood? I mean, the Queen can’t be knighting people who stab themselves in the face. What if there was a war and all the knights were called up to fight? You can’t have popstars on the field of battle stabbing themselves in the face. Just leave the fighting to Paul McCartney, I say.

Anyway, having exposed the lies for what they are (lies), Blunt then started a beef with his record label, Warner’s Atlantic (also home to one Edward Sheeran).

Asked about his famously humorous Twitter account, he explains: “My record label started it up and asked if I could promote my music. I thought, ‘That sounds really boring’. So I decided I’d just abuse myself on it”.

“When they first set it up I chose the name ‘@DirtyLilBlunt'”, he adds. “Then they asked me to change it to something more recognisable – ‘@JamesBlunt’. Record labels: how to take out the creative”.

Wow, look at that, first Blunt helps Sheeran slander a royal, and then he starts laying into the kind folk at his record company. I’m telling you, when James Blunt dies in a mysterious car crash in a tunnel, no one will know whether to blame Team Windsor or Team Warner.