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Talking exclusively to The Observer by email, Murdo elaborated on his position.

Gorillaz seem pleased to have been nominated for an MTV award for their innovative videos, so I wonder what Murdo had against the Mercury.

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But the music is real enough, a glorious pop mix of reggae, hip hop and Latin beats created by Damon Albarn with a diverse collective of musicians including hip hop producer Dan Nakamura, rapper Del Tha Funky Homosapien and Cuban singer Ibrahim Ferrer.

So what is Blur's frontman doing hiding behind cartoons?

Ultimately, anything that you are truly dependent on is not good."He also stated that he was a heroin user "five days on, two days off" as he never took the drug on weekends.

Cartoon pop stars Gorillaz caused controversy last week by turning down their nomination for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize.

Hewlett and Albarn have remained friends, and Gorillaz was conceived as a way of combining their talents.

For Albarn, it is also a way to escape the expectations heaped upon any new Blur project.

Why is this, and just how does it involve Blur's frontman Damon Albarn?

In its tenth year now, the £20,000 Mercury Music Prize is awarded every September to the best British album.

I pity the person who wins the cup that we have already pissed in.' This puts the Mercury judges, who nominated Gorillaz' eponymous debut as on of the best albums of the year, in an odd position.

But Gorillaz don't want it to be considered as such. Their inventive website has grown from a few hits a day before the music was released to 500,000 new users a month.

He was born in east London but the family moved to Colchester, where he met the other members of Blur, a band which found success from the start by articulating the frustrations of suburban youth.

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