Jack Whitehall has revealed he’s hosting the 2021 Brit Awards in honour of key workers, as the ceremony becomes the first live music event since the Covid pandemic.
The comedian, 32, who is reprising his role as MC for the ceremony for the third time, will take to the stage at London’s O2 Arena in front of the small crowd comprised of staff who have been working on the front line throughout the crisis.
Speaking on Wednesday’s Good Morning Britain, Jack said it’s been a ‘big undertaking’ for bosses to have an audience at the awards show on May 11, as they will all be tested before and after the ceremony.
Frontman: Jack Whitehall, 32, has revealed he’s hosting the 2021 Brit Awards in honour of key workers, as the ceremony becomes the first live music event since the Covid pandemic
Jack told Adil Ray and Susanna Reid: ‘I mean it’s going to be an amazing event, it’s the first live music event in the O2 with an audience in over a year I think it’s been a long process to get to a place where we are allowed an audience in there.
‘I’m glad it’s all key workers there and everyone will be tested and it’ll be a big undertaking to take it on and have it happen safely, but it’ll be a return to normality to have an event like this.’
The live show, which usually comprises of a crowd full of nominees and music executives, will be the first of its kind for over a year due to lockdown restrictions.
Hosting again: The comedian who is reprising his role as MC for the ceremony for the third time, will take to the stage at London’s O2 Arena on May 11
Meticulously planned: Jack said it’s been a ‘big undertaking’ for bosses to have an audience at the awards show on May 11, as they will all be tested before and after the ceremony
He added: ‘Partly it’s because it’s live television and anything can happen which proves that I’m good with rolling the punches.
‘It’s making sure you do it for the people at home and not just the people in the room. sometimes they’re wrapped in their own experience, this year will be great because it won’t just be music execs and millionaires, it’ll also be key workers who deserve to have a good night.’
The Brits are set to welcome a small crowd of 4000 as part of a pilot programme launched by the government to trial various safety measures in the hope that they can welcome larger crowds back to venues this summer.
Exciting: He said ‘I’m glad it’s all key workers there and everyone will be tested and it’ll be a big undertaking to take it on and have it happen safely’
Deserving: The comic added: ‘This year will be great because it won’t just be music execs and millionaires, it’ll also be key workers who deserve to have a good night’
All attendees will be required to present proof of a negative Covid test before entry, and once inside they will not be required to socially distance or wear masks.
After the cermeony guests will also be tested for Covid and will have to share their results with NHS Test and Trace.
2,500 of these tickets have been given to key workers through a ballot, with the remaining spaces being given to other music industry executives.
Jack, who has become an advocate for preventing food waste was also a guest on GMB as part of his partnership with Ketel One Vodka, calling on the nation to vote for their most wasted home ingredient on his Instagram Channel.
Once the results are in, Jack will then be challenged to create a delicious low waste cocktail using these fresh, quality leftover ingredients, as voted for by the public.
Coming soon: The live show will be the first of its kind for over a year due to lockdown restrictions
It comes after Brit Awards bosses announced that winners will be presented with a ‘double trophy’ they can share with someone important to them.
Artists Es Devlin and Yinka Ilori have designed a trophy that comes in two parts for the ceremony – where artists including Dua Lipa, Celeste and Arlo Parks have been nominated.
Award recipients will be given the ‘double trophy’ and ‘encouraged to award the second smaller trophy on to someone else’ who could be ‘entirely unrelated to music’, according to a statement from the organisers of the ceremony.
‘Act of kindness’: It comes after Brit Awards bosses announced that winners will be presented with a ‘double trophy’ they can share with someone important to them
The design features one larger, multicoloured trophy, as well as a smaller metallic version.
In previous years, artists and designers including Tracey Emin, Dame Vivienne Westwood, Sir David Adjaye and Sir Anish Kapoor have designed Brit Awards trophies.
Devlin said: ‘Yinka and I thought the best award that one could receive would be agency to award another.
‘Each recipient is invited to award the second trophy to someone they consider worthy – it might be recognition – or it might be someone that does something entirely unrelated to music.’
Change: Billie Eilish is seen with her award at the 2020 ceremony – she picked up the International Female gong
Ilori said: ‘The idea came from the experience of lockdown, where your neighbour you’ve lived beside for six years and never say hello to suddenly gave you flowers, foods, acts of kindness. I wanted to capture that.
‘I would describe it as two artists from different disciplines, different inspirations, coming together to design a trophy based around the idea of giving something back – acts of kindness.’
The Brit Awards will feature an audience of 4,000 people as part of the Government’s live events pilot scheme.
Designers: Artists Es Devlin (L) and Yinka Ilori have designed a trophy that comes in two parts for the ceremony – where artists including Dua Lipa, Celeste and Arlo Parks have been nominated
Congrats! Dua Lipa (pictured), Arlo Parks and Celeste are leading the BRIT Awards nominations
Dua, Griff, Arlo and Headie One are among the artists scheduled to perform during the ceremony, which will be hosted by Jack Whitehall.
Dua, Arlo, Celeste, rap duo Young T & Bugsey and DJ and producer Joel Corry are all nominated three times at this year’s awards.
Jessie Ware, dance music duo Bicep and rappers AJ Tracey, J Hus and Headie One all scored two nominations apiece.
The Brit Awards will take place on May 11 at the O2 Arena in London.
Dua, Arlo and Celeste are leading the BRIT Awards stars with three nods each after the nominees were announced last month.
BRIT AWARDS 2021 – WHO ARE THE DESIGNERS?
Es Devlin OBE
Es is a London-based artist and stage designer,
She has made large scale touring stage sculptures in collaboration with Beyoncé, Kanye West, Adele, U2, The Weeknd, Lorde, Pet Shop Boys, and the Royal Opera House in London.
She also designed the London Olympic Closing Ceremony in 2012 and the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
She has received three Olivier Awards and was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2015 New Year Honours.
Yinka Ilori MBE
Yinka Ilori is a London based multidisciplinary artist of a British-Nigerian heritage, who specialises in storytelling by fusing his British and Nigerian heritage to tell new stories in contemporary design.
He began his practice in 2011 up-cycling vintage furniture, inspired by the traditional Nigerian parables and West African fabrics that surrounded him as a child.
In 2020 the designer created an installation for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and launched his own homeware collection.
He was awarded an MBE in 2021 and won the Design Museum’s Emerging Design Medal in 2020.
2019: Sir David Adjaye designed the Brit Award for the 2019 ceremony
Array of designs: Designer Vivienne Westwood designed the patriotic 2010 Brit Award (left) while Tracey Emin designed the 2015 trophy (right)
The three artists are all nominated for Female Solo Artist and Mastercard Album, with Dua Lipa also in the running for British Single, while Arlo Parks and Celeste feature in the shortlist for Breakthrough Artist.
The nominations for this year’s awards were revealed via an exclusive launch across the awards’ social channels by Radio One star Nick Grimshaw and this year’s BRITs Rising Star winner Griff, who virtually took fans through the nine shortlists.
The show will be held on May 11 at The O2 arena in London, broadcast on ITV and ITV Hub, and hosted by Jack Whitehall.
Brit female and double nominee for 2021 Jessie Ware is up for Mastercard Album as well as Female Solo Artist which, along with Dua, Arlo and Celeste, also sees Lianne La Havas up for the title.
Many of the stars who have already been announced took to social media to celebrate their success by sharing pictures of the cards listing their nominations.
Buzzing: The three artists are all nominated for Female Solo Artist and Mastercard Album, with Dua Lipa also in the running for British Single
Dua, Jessie and Arlo Parks all shared their happy news on Instagram.
Flying the flag for British rap with three nominations are Young T & Bugsey, who are nominated for British Single and Breakthrough Artist, and will face The 1975, Little Mix, Bicep (also in Breakthrough Artist) and Biffy Clyro in the British Group category.
AJ Tracey is shortlisted twice; one nod in the British Single category, and a second for Male Solo Artist, along with Yungblud, Joel Corry, J Hus and Headie One.
J Hus earns a second nomination in Mastercard Album, whilst Headie One also features in the shortlist for British Single.
Along with Male Solo Artist, Joel Corry receives two more nominations, for Breakthrough Artist and British Single, bringing his tally up to three in total.
Wow! Many of the stars who have already been announced took to social media to celebrate their success by sharing pictures of the cards listing their nominations
The British Single category also sees Aitch up for his second BRIT, having last year been nominated for Best New Artist.
Dance & electronic acts 220 Kid, Nathan Dawes and Regard also get a look in this shortlist, as does Harry Styles, whose performance at the 2020 show was one of the evening’s highlights.
The international categories see new and returning artists alike; nominated for their first ever BRIT in International Group are BTS, Run the Jewels and Fontaines D.C., alongside Foo Fighters, who have won this category four times previously and Haim, who have been nominated twice before.
International Female as ever showcases incredibly multi-talented and creative women, with Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Cardi B, Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift all shortlisted – Miley receives her debut BRIT nomination this year.
Big news! Dua has been nominated for three nominations in total
Joyful: She shared the happy news with her followers on Instagram
The BRITs welcomes The Weeknd into the category for this year’s International Male, having been nominated twice before, plus Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, Burna Boy (who appeared at the 2020 BRITs as part of Stormzy’s performance) and Bruce Springsteen, marking his 11th BRIT nomination.
Earlier this month, The BRITs announced the winner of this year’s Rising Star supported by BBC Radio 1 award as Griff, who joins an illustrious list of artist alumni such as Adele, Florence + The Machine, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding and Celeste who were all identified through this award (previously known as Critics’ Choice) as the future stars of British music. Griff will perform at The BRITs in May.
BRIT AWARD NOMINATIONS 2021
FEMALE SOLO ARTIST
LIANNE LA HAVAS
MALE SOLO ARTIST
YOUNG T & BUGSEY
BRITs RISING STAR
GRIFF WARNER (Winner)
ARLO PARKS COLLAPSED IN SUNBEAMS
CELESTE NOT YOUR MUSE
DUA LIPA FUTURE NOSTALGIA
J HUS BIG CONSPIRACY
JESSIE WARE WHAT’S YOUR PLEASURE?
RUN THE JEWELS
YOUNG T & BUGSEY
220 KID & GRACEY DON’T NEED LOVE
AITCH & AJ TRACEY FT TAY KEITH RAIN
DUA LIPA PHYSICAL
HARRY STYLES WATERMELON SUGAR
HEADIE ONE FT AJ TRACEY & STORMZY AIN’T IT DIFFERENT
JOEL CORRY FT MNEK HEAD & HEART
NATHAN DAWE FT KSI LIGHTER
REGARD & RAYE SECRETS
S1MBA FT DTG ROVER PARLOPHONE
YOUNG T & BUGSEY FT HEADIE ONE DON’T RUSH
INTERNATIONAL FEMALE SOLO ARTIST
INTERNATIONAL MALE SOLO ARTIST
TAME IMPALA FICTION