Jack WhitehallImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jack Whitehall said he was “thrilled” to be host

Jack Whitehall is to host the Brit Awards for the first time next year.

The comedian takes over from Dermot O’Leary and Emma Willis, who shared hosting duties earlier this year.

Brit Awards chairman Jason Iley said Whitehall would bring his “enormous enthusiasm, charisma, fun and passion” to the annual music ceremony.

The show, to be held at London’s O2 Arena on 21 February, will celebrate the biggest and best pop stars of 2017. The panel will start voting on Friday.

Nominations will be unveiled in January – with Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Rag N Bone Man all expected to feature.

Up-and-coming R&B singer Jorja Smith has already been announced as the winner of the Critics’ Choice prize, and will receive a Anish Kapoor-designed trophy at the ceremony.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption He presented a Brit Award with Jessie J in 2012

Whitehall is known for sitcoms like Fresh Meat, Bounty Hunters and Bad Education and for his appearances on TV panel shows.

He said he was “thrilled” to be master of ceremonies, describing the event as “the kind of show you dream of hosting as a kid, so [I’m] really excited to have been asked”.

He has previously hosted the Royal Variety Performance and The Britannia Awards in Los Angeles.

Whitehall was among the contenders to host the Brits this year after Michael Buble pulled out following his son Noah’s cancer diagnosis – but the show’s producers enlisted O’Leary and Willis instead.

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