Jack Whitehall has expanded on his decision not to host next year’s BRIT Awards.
The 2022 ceremony will be presented by comedian Mo Gilligan, making it the first time since 2018 that Whitehall hasn’t taken on hosting duties at the O2 Arena bash.
In a new interview with The Independent, the comedian said that he was “conscious of not outstaying [his] welcome” after four successive ceremonies. “I wanted to make sure people still enjoyed seeing me do it,” he said of his feelings after his first turn in the job in 2018.
He went on to back Gilligan, who will be making his BRITs debut in February.
Whitehall called him “the perfect choice” and “a really funny guy”, and labelled him the “hottest comedian around right now”.
“It’ll be strange seeing someone else doing it because it has become a bit of a fixture for me and something that I look forward to each year, but I’m sure Mo will do a great job,” Whitehall added.
The nominations for next year’s BRITs will be announced on December 18 in a TV special hosted by Clara Amfo and Maya Jama. The 2022 awards will be the first to eschew gender-specific categories in a bid to enhance the event’s inclusivity.
The past awards of Best Male and Best Female Solo Artist have been ditched in favour of Artist of the Year, whilst overseas acts will be served by International Artist of the Year rather than Best International Male and Female Solo Artist.
Additionally, gongs will be handed out in four new genre-specific categories: Best Alternative/Rock Act, Best Pop/R&B Act, Best Dance Act and Best Hip-Hop/Rap/Grime Act. The move harks back to similar categories that were a mainstay of the awards until being scrapped in 2006.
After they were excluded from nomination in the gendered categories at the 2021 ceremony, Smith, a three-time winner, said in a now-deleted Instagram post: “The Brits have been an important part of my career…Music for me has always been about unification not division. I look forward to a time where awards shows can be reflective of the society we live in. Let’s celebrate everybody, regardless of gender, race, age, ability, sexuality and class.”
In a statement announcing the 2022 changes, the event’s organisers claimed they were aiming to celebrate “artists solely for their music and work, rather than how they choose to identify or as others may see them”.