Brit Awards host Mo Gilligan: I want it to feel like a party

Mo Gilligan has said he is “working really hard” to make the Brit Awards a special show after a “tough few years”.

The ceremony will return on February 8, with British comedian Gilligan on hosting duties, replacing Jack Whitehall, who has helmed the event in recent years.

Gilligan, 33, has said he was “shocked” but honoured to take the prestigious role, adding that he wants it to feel like a “party”.

Speaking to the Brit Awards Show Programme, he said: “I was so shocked to be asked to host this year’s Brits.

“These are the things I’ve grown up with, so you don’t think that one day you’ll be a part of it.

“Honestly, it feels like a huge honour.”

The Brits academy faced pressure to do away with its male and female-specific awards and have scrapped gendered categories for the 2022 awards ceremony, introducing gender-neutral gongs in their place.

Gilligan will lead the awards presentations, along with exclusive live performances from Dave, Doja Cat, Ed Sheeran, Holly Humberstone, Liam Gallagher and Little Simz.

Mo Gilligan
Mo Gilligan is the new host of the Brit Awards (JM Enternational)

Talking about preparation for the show, Gilligan said: “We’re working really hard to make this a really special show.

“After such a tough few years everyone needs some joy at the moment.

“I want it to feel like I’m hosting a party – and I want everyone at home to feel like they’ve been at the party.

“The fans are the most important people at The Brit Awards and we’ll be doing all we can to make it an unforgettable night for them.”

Nominations for the Brit Awards this year feature the most women in more than a decade, with 18 female artists or all-women groups receiving nods.

The most nominated stars are Adele, Sheeran, Little Simz and Dave – who are each up for four gongs.

British rapper Dave, who gave a memorable performance of his track Black at the 2020 show, is up for artist, album and song of the year as well as hip hop/grime/rap act.

London-based Simbiatu Ajikawo, aka Little Simz, is also nominated in the best artist and album categories and has also received a nod for best new artist.

Gilligan added: “If I said I wanted to host The BRITs at fourteen, I’m probably lying – because I was mostly interested in playing Playstation at that time.

“But it’s important for a young kid like me from my background to know opportunities are out there, to be able to work hard and achieve my dreams.

“There were so many big moments – like watching The Spice Girls with Geri in that Union Jack dress – I didn’t know how iconic it would become at that time.

“And So Solid Crew was a big one for me, I was like these guys, they look like me, young black boys.

“They’re probably from an estate which is like mine, they are wearing white suits, there are so many of them! That, for me, is probably my most iconic moment.”

Clara Amfo and Maya Jama will also be hosting the red carpet show.

The Brit Awards 2022 will air on ITV on February 8 live from the 02 Arena in London.