Alex James has further hinted Blur will play shows in 2012.

The 'Song 2' group are to receive the Outstanding Contribution to Music prize at next year's Brit Awards in February, and bassist Alex said being honoured with the prize has made them all miss being in the band.

He told radio station XFM: "We all remembered how much we loved being a band. I had always said in interviews I didn't miss being in a band, but that reminded me that I did.

"Who knows what will happen, but there is a lot to look forward to."

Alex - who completes the group alongside singer Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon and drummer Dave Rowntree - has also recently said he hopes the band record again in 2012.

He said: "We're getting together for a Christmas drink next week which is nice. We still see each other all the time. We'll probably record again."

Blur last played together in 2009, when they reformed for a set of shows across Europe, and Graham has said the band has not changed, despite them all now being involved in different projects.

He said: "Being in a band this long is like a kind of time travel. We're the same gang we ever were, we've just landed in a different era.

"Or possibly we're a totally different Blur still playing the old tunes in 1991 forever. I haven't decided. But it's always nice to get a Brit Award."

Previously, the 'Beetlebum' hitmaker's only success at the BRIT Awards came in 1995, where they were honoured with Best British Band, Best Album for 'Parklife' and Best Single and Best Video for the record's title track.

Traditionally, acts picking up the award close the ceremony with a performance, but it has not yet been confirmed whether Blur will play at the show, which takes place at The O2 in London in February.