A peppy McCartney bounced his hand on the podium several times and said, "Wow" and "Thank you" before beginning his two-minute acceptance speech. He began by thanking the NME for its work over the years.
"First of all, let's hear it for the NME. Got to give it up for the NME, man. Well, the NME for me brings back so many memories. It's been going longer than I have. I saw the very first picture of Elvis in the NME. Back page was an advert for 'Heartbreak Hotel.' We'd never seen him but we'd heard him. There he was. Buddy Holly, I saw all of that, the news coming in that he was visiting England. And it was really inspirational for us all because he sang and he wrote the songs and he did the solos as well, so it was very inspirational. And then finally, we got down to London and got to meet the people on the NME and that was another, wow!"
He then talked about the Beatles relationship with the paper and how they used to have fun with the press.
"One of the things we used to try and do was to plant a false story in the NME. And we actually got with George was Billy Fury's cousin, which he wasn't. Living on the edge, man. Anyway, come on, John Cooper Clarke (British performance poet). It's all there."
He finally made a joking comment about songwriting, the reason for his winning the award.
"And so anyway, songwriting, the thing about songwriting, the great thing is we don't know how we do it, so you can't talk about it. Thank you!”
And with that he left the stage.
Presenting the award to McCartney was Damon Albarn, who was quoted by NME as saying about the former Beatle, "I love him like millions and millions and millions and millions of other people."
The award was especially created for McCartney.