Jack Whitehall was given the thumbs up on Tuesday night while targeting a host of high-profile celebrities during his latest stint as host at the annual BRIT Awards.
Nothing was off-limits at the socially distanced event as Whitehall took aim at Rita Ora‘s rule-breaking lockdown party, Olly Murs’ popularity and Taylor Swift and Kanye West‘s ongoing feud during a memorable night at the O2.
Divided: Jack Whitehall received a mixed response on Tuesday night as fans reacted to his latest stint as host at the annual BRIT Awards
Introducing the band – who won the award for Best British Group – he quipped: ‘What do you do to pass the time during lockdown?’
The comedian later referenced Leigh-Anne and Perrie’s pregnancy announcements, which came just days apart, adding: ‘These girls are so in sync they can even harmonise their pregnancies.’
Whitehall had previously targeted Jade Thirlwall – the only band-member who isn’t expecting a baby – while singing a playful version of sea shanty The Wellerman with Scottish TikTok personality Nathan Evans.
Doctoring the lyrics to the song – a viral hit during lockdown – he sung: ‘Soon may the Little Mix come, babies popping one by one. They still looking they’re having fun, Jade’s drinking for all three.’
Here we go: Little Mix also found themselves in the firing line as the comedian, 32, joked about Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Perrie Edwards ‘ recent pregnancy announcements
Hilarious: The singers saw the funny side as Whitehall playfully asked them how they had passed the time during lockdown
Well done: Many viewers praised the comedian for his quick wit while watching the socially distanced show as it took place at London’s O2
In the firing line: Nothing was off-limits at the socially distanced event as Whitehall took aim at a host of celebrities during a memorable night at the O2
There was a further reference to Rita Ora in the altered lyrics, with the singer’s rule-breaking 30th birthday party coming back to haunt her despite being thousands of miles away in Australia while she films The Voice.
Taking aim at the star, he added: ‘Tay-Tay, Pink and a whole lot more – a party fit for Rita Ora.’
Making light of the socially distanced event, which was attended by NHS workers, he later joked: ‘It’s been a tough year, Covid’s had more comebacks than Craig David but this evening we look forward to a brighter future.
‘To ensure a reduced capacity we billed this as a Niall Horan gig.’
Banter: Olly Muts was among those targeted b y Whitehall on Tuesday evening
Awkward: Rita Ora was targeted after flouting lockdown rules while celebrating her 30th birthday
From Little Mix to Wayne Lineker: Jack Whitehall at the BRIT Awards
‘These girls are so in sync they can even harmonise their pregnancies’ (to Little Mix)
‘It’s been a tough year, Covid’s had more comebacks than Craig David but this evening we look forward to a brighter future’ (on lockdown)
‘To ensure a reduced capacity we billed this as a Niall Horan gig’ (on social distancing at the O2)
‘I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the undisputed Queen of Pop is in attendance. She’s been ripped off more times than Colin the Caterpiller, but she’s come out swinging’ (on Taylor Swift losing her back catalogue))
‘Don’t worry Murssy’s here for fun, we will not let him sing’ (to guest Olly Murs)
‘At least he finally stopped making music’ (on Laurence Fox’s foray into politics)
‘In the words of Tiger Woods: driver’s license, take it away…’ (while introducing Olivia Rodrigo to the stage)
‘The proceeds from that one will mainly go to the make Spotify Even Richer foundation’ (following The Weeknd’s performance)
‘Here at the BRITS we’re all about appealing to a younger demographic. Like Wayne Lineker’s Tinder profile we’re not interested in anyone who’s old enough to remember Chumbawumba’
My turn: Global Icon winner Taylor Swift’s back catalogue dispute and ongoing feud with Kanye West was also highlighted by Whitehall
Referencing the divisive Laurence Fox’s ‘tragic foray into politics”, he quipped that “at least he finally stopped making music.”
Tiger Woods’ recent driving ban for being under the influence while behind the wheel of a car was also played for laughs as Whitehall introduced Olivia Rodrigo to the stage.
‘In the words of Tiger Woods: driver’s license, take it away…’ he joked as she prepared for her performance.
Elsewhere Celebs Go Dating star Wayne Lineker’s admission that he only dates younger women was played for laughs, with the 58-year old referenced during another monologue.
Addressing the camera, Whitehall quipped: #’Here at the BRITS we’re all about appealing to a younger demographic. Like Wayne Lineker’s Tinder profile we’re not interested in anyone who’s old enough to remember Chumbawumba.’
Funny: The comedian took aim at Little Mix and Rita Ora while performing a doctored version of The Wellerman with Nathan Evans
How did BRIT Awards go ahead during the Covid pandemic?
The 2021 BRIT Awards marked the first live music event in the UK since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The indoor ceremony and live show formed part of the Government’s scientific Events Research Programme.
Enhanced testing approaches will examine how events can take place without the need for social distancing after all restrictions are lifted on June 21.
4,000 tickets were made available for the live ceremony, just one fifth of the venue’s 20,000 capacity, with 2,500 of those being given to key workers.
The BRITs will play an important role in paving the way for the return of live music at scale as the UK emerges from the past year’s restrictions.
Audience members were not socially distanced or required to wear face coverings once seated inside the arena, though they were required in communal areas such as the toilet or main concourse.
All attendees were allowed to purchase alcohol and concessions once inside the O2 Arena.
Attendees were also required to follow existing Government guidance when travelling to the venue and adhere to rules set out by the event organisers.
Among the rules, attendees had to provide proof of a negative lateral flow test result to enter the venue, and said test had to be taken at an asymptomatic testing site within 36 hours of the ceremony.
Upon arrival at the venue, all attendess were asked to take a PCR test, and will then take another test five days after the ceremony
It’s hoped this will gather further evidence on the safety of indoor settings, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings.
Don’t mind us: Whitehall pulled on a pair of skinny jeans while posing with the ‘four lads in jeans’ backstage at the event
Taylor Swift also found herself at the mercy of Whitehall, who mocked the singer for re-recording a selection of her albums after her record label sold off her back catalogue.
‘I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the undisputed Queen of Pop is in attendance,’; he announced. ‘She’s been ripped off more times than Colin the Caterpiller, but she’s come out swinging.
‘If she doesn’t win tonight she’ll probably just re-record the whole show to make sure that she does… Taylor Swift will be with us later.’
Sinful: Whitehall with BRITs performers Olly Alexander and Sir Elton John
Mixed: Some fans were less enthusiastic about the comedian’s hosting skills on Tuesday evening
Swift went on to win the coveted Global Icon award, with Whitehall using the opportunity to suggest she pass the miniature version of her gong to Kanye West – a reference to his notorious stage invasion at the 2009 MTV Video Awards.
Fans were quick to praise the star, with one commenting: ‘Jack Whitehall deserves a best host award!’
While a second added: ‘Jack Whitehall is funny, I like him a lot.’
Elsewhere a third wrote: ‘I actually think Jack Whitehall is hilarious despite differing opinions.’
The 2021 BRIT Awards marked the first major indoor music event in over a year as bosses released 2,500 free tickets to key workers.
The show saw a total of 11 awards handed out alongside nine unbeatable show-stopping performances, six of which were able to be staged live in stadium.
Main man: Whitehall was back on Tuesday night as the BRITS got underway after a three-month delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic
BRIT AWARDS WINNERS 2021
FEMALE SOLO ARTIST
DUA LIPA – WINNER
LIANNE LA HAVAS
MALE SOLO ARTIST
J HUS – WINNER
LITTLE MIX – WINNER
YOUNG T & BUGSEY
BRITs RISING STAR
GRIFF WARNER – WINNER
ARLO PARKS COLLAPSED IN SUNBEAMS
CELESTE NOT YOUR MUSE
DUA LIPA FUTURE NOSTALGIA – WINNER
J HUS BIG CONSPIRACY
JESSIE WARE WHAT’S YOUR PLEASURE?
HAIM – WINNER
RUN THE JEWELS
ARLO PARKS – WINNER
YOUNG T & BUGSEY
220 KID & GRACEY DON’T NEED LOVE
AITCH & AJ TRACEY FT TAY KEITH RAIN
DUA LIPA PHYSICAL
HARRY STYLES WATERMELON SUGAR – WINNER
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
BILLIE EILISH – WINNER
INTERNATIONAL MALE SOLO ARTIST
TAME IMPALA FICTION
THE WEEKND – WINNER