Bob Geldof went off-script before presenting the Song of the Year Award with Keith Urban. (AAP: Joel Carrett)
Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof has been criticized on social media for his awkward stage presence and "cringe-inducing" banter at the ARIA Awards on Wednesday night.
- Rock legend's joke about Keith Urban prompted groans from the audience
- But his praise of Kasey Chambers was applauded
- Appearance ignited debate about brining international acts to present at Australian awards ceremonies
Geldof was brought on stage to present the final award of the night, the Song of the Year.
After being introduced by Keith Urban, who was hosting the ceremony, Geldof appeared to have forgotten the county singer's name.
"Welcome back to the ARIAs," Urban said.
Geldof replied with something that sounded a lot like "thanks Jim" and very little like "Keith."
Urban asked the Live Aid to organize about the time he hosted the award ceremony in 1991, to which he joked about not being able to remember the event.
Banter between the two drew pained reactions from the crowd, with Geldof's joke about Urban's performance prompting uncomfortable groans.
Geldof then went off-script before announcing the nominees for the award, saying he was unable to read the teleprompter.
"I'm making this up, but it sounds f *** ing good to me," he said.
He paid tribute to country musician Kasey Chambers, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame, "not just for exceptional music but for her as a person, she's amazing."
This prompted an emotional response from Chambers and applause from the audience.
The appearance sparked social media discussion about international artists appearing on Australian awards shows, with some viewers saying Geldof's segment was a "total cringe" and "embarrassing."
Tweet from Virginia Trioli: OK, enough: no more bored, sneering imported artists to apparently give our awards show star-power. Sick of the cringe? Or do you love them turning up? Discuss!
"We have our own stars – let them shine," one ABC viewer said on Twitter.
"Its purpose is to acknowledge local achievement and so in principle I think presenters should be Australian," another added.