ENTERTAINMENT
03/04/2021 05:00 BST | Updated 04/05/2021 08:51 BST

When Are The Brit Awards 2021 And Who Has Been Nominated? Everything You Need To Know

Jack Whitehall is back on presenting duties – but what is the show actually going to look like?

The nominees have been announced, the first couple of performers are confirmed and we even have a host – the Brit Awards are officially on their way.

Of course, this year’s Brits will probably not be like any ceremony we’ve seen before, with the ongoing pandemic meaning producers will have to think outside of the box to make the show happen.

Still, given that chaos and unplanned drama are often part and parcel when it comes to the Brits, we’re sure this will only add to the fun.

Here’s what we know so far about the 2021 Brit Awards...

When are the Brit Awards 2021? 

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, most awards shows bumped their usual ceremonies back a few weeks. The Brits went one step further this year, shifting their regular February ceremony to Tuesday 11 May.

The Brits’ chief executive Geoff Taylor previously said of the decision: “We want to make sure that The Brits delivers the outstanding production levels, superstar performances and live excitement that make it the biggest night in music.

“We believe that the best way to achieve this in 2021 is to move the show back a few months to May, and we are already at work planning a spectacular event that will remind us how important music has been in getting us all through these difficult times.”

As ever, the Brits will air live on ITV from the O2 Arena in London.

Anthony HarveyAnthony Harvey/Shutterstock
The Brits will be going ahead in May

Who is hosting the Brit Awards this year? 

Stand-up comedian Jack Whitehall will be back on presenting duties for the fourth year in a row, tying him with James Corden for the most number of consecutive years hosting the Brits.

James has still presented the most times, though, four times on his own and once with former comedy partner Mat Horne and Kylie Minogue.

Chris Evans has also hosted four times, in 1995, 1996, 2005 and 2006.

Jim Dyson via Getty Images
Jack Whitehall on stage at last year's Brit Awards

Jack said of his upcoming hosting stint: “I must be doing something right to be invited back to host the Brits!

“After the events of the past year, I think we can all do with a big night of music and entertainment, and I’m excited to be part of the show.” 

Which stars are performing during the ceremony?

Bosses have announced that Coldplay will be opening the Brit Awards with a special performance of their new single Higher Power, after being spotted filming on a boat on the Thames recently.

As the recipient of the Rising Star title, singer-songwriter Griff will be taking to the stage during the show, with Dua Lipa also set to perform, rounding off an incredible year after the release of her chart-topping Future Nostalgia album.

Griff joked in March: “Guys, pray for me! I’m going to be in a room full of the biggest and best artists in the world, singing my little heart out. I can’t wait!”

Kevin Winter via Getty Images
Dua Lipa performing live at the Grammys

Three-time nominees Arlo Parks and Headie One are also on the line-up, the first Brits performance for both of them.

Arlo, who is in the running for Album Of The Year, said: “To be able to share my work and vision with such a massive audience is a dream. I’m excited to create something that feels immersive and inclusive.”

Pink and Rag’N’Bone Man – past recipients of the Outstanding Contribution To Music and Critics’ Choice Awards, respectively – will sing a duet with the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir during the ceremony, which will also feature a performance from Olivia Rodrigo, announced with this rather clever graphic:

Who has been nominated at the 2021 Brit Awards? 

Excitingly, there are no real frontrunners at this year’s Brits, with AJ Tracey, Arlo Parks, Celeste, Dua Lipa, Joel Corry and Young T & Bugsey all leading on three nominations.

This year also marks the first time that four of the five acts in the running for Album Of The Year are women, with Arlo Parks, Celeste, Dua Lipa and Jessie Ware nominated alongside J Hus for the top prize of the night.

Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock
AJ Tracey has received three nominations at this year's Brit Awards

Other acts nominated include Little Mix, Harry Styles, Headie One, Taylor Swift and Cardi B.

Check out the full list of nominations here

Who has designed the awards statue this year?

Es Devlin and Yinka Ilori have designed the award, which is yet to be revealed. The duo are also serving as creative directors for the Brits this year, and are responsible for the new logo and look of the awards show in 2021. 

And finally, how is the Brit Awards live show actually going to work in 2021?

Well, that much we’re a bit less unsure about.

Organisers said in a statement earlier this year: “However the world is looking come May, our ambition is not for a ‘normal’ Brits but a show which truly reflects the spirit of the past year.”

The Brits have also said they want “outstanding production levels, superstar performances and live excitement”.

Jim Dyson via Getty Images
Celeste on stage at the Brits in 2020

What we do know now is that the Brits will have an audience, albeit a reduced one.

Some 4,000 people will be in attendance on the night (just 20% of The O2′s 20,000 capacity), which will largely be made up of frontline workers.

The Brits will form part of the government’s scientific Events Research Programme, with no social distancing or masks required for the 4,000-strong audience.

However, they will require proof of a negative lateral flow test to be allowed access to the venue, and will also have to complete a test after the event, in order to “gather further evidence on the safety of indoor settings, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings”.

Chief executive at the Brits Geoff Taylor said this year’s ceremony will be “one of the most significant in the show’s history”.

“Not only will we be celebrating the brilliant music and artists that have helped us through the pandemic, but we hope it will provide a path for the return of live music that fans and artists have so sorely missed,” he said. 

“And as a thank you to the key workers who have kept our country going through the difficult times, we are inviting them to be our audience for the first live performances at The O2 in over a year. 

“We’re buzzing about the show and working closely with [the] government, The O2 and all our partners to ensure all safety measures and guidelines are adhered to.”

Further details about whether all of the A-list performances will be taking place live at The O2 – or whether some will be either pre-recorded or beamed live from other locations – are yet to be confirmed.