British TV stars Dermot O’Leary and Emma Willis will host this year’s Brit Awards, after Michael Buble pulled out to focus on his son’s cancer battle.
The 41-year-old singer’s little boy Noah, three, was diagnosed with liver cancer last year (16), with his parents Michael and Luisana Lopilato putting their careers on hold to care for their poorly son.
Among Michael’s scheduled gigs before Noah’s diagnosis was to present next month’s (Feb17) Brit Awards, but he is said to have called producers in January to tell them he’d made the “difficult” decision to pull out of the hosting.
Now it has been revealed that Dermot and Emma, both famous in their native England for fronting TV talent shows The X Factor and The Voice U.K. respectively, will take the helm of the prizegiving at London’s O2 Arena on 22 February (17).
Jason Iley, Brit Awards chairman and chairman of Sony Music U.K., said in a statement: “We are delighted to announce the combination of Dermot and Emma who are stepping up as hosts. They are currently the most in-demand presenters in the U.K., with a huge passion for music, and to get the both of them is very exciting for us.
“Our thoughts go out to Michael and his family. We would love to see him on our stage in the future.”
Among the performers at the Brits are Robbie Williams and Little Mix, while the girl band, Rihanna and Skepta also lead nominations with three nods each.
Michael and Luisana confirmed the sad news of their son’s diagnosis in November (16), after it was first reported in the La Nacion publication in the model Luisana’s native Argentina.
They have not commented on Noah’s condition since announcing their son’s health crisis and asking for privacy: “At this difficult time, we ask only for your prayers and respect for our privacy,” they wrote in a statement posted online in November. “We have a long journey in front of us and hope that with the support of family, friends and fans around the world, we will win this battle, God willing.”
Luisana’s sister Daniela subsequently revealed Noah is battling liver cancer, and began chemotherapy treatment in the U.S. in a bid to shrink the tumour.