Jack Whitehall joined by Line of Duty stars as he kicks off Brit Awards

Jack Whitehall kicked off the Brit Awards ceremony at London’s O2 Arena with a sketch featuring Line Of Duty stars Vicky McClure and Martin Compston.

Social media sensation Jackie Weaver, who went viral with her contributions to a parish council meeting, also featured in the sketch.

Comedian Whitehall failed to impress the group with his impression of Ted Hastings and his “Mother of God!” catchphrase.

Brit Awards 2021
Coldplay perform their new single Higher Power at the Brit Awards (Paul Dugdale/PA)

Coldplay, fronted by Chris Martin, then delivered a performance of their new single Higher Power from a pontoon on the River Thames, surrounded by hologram dancers and against a backdrop of purple and orange fireworks.

There is an audience of 4,000 people at this year’s event as part of the Government’s live events pilot scheme, with 2,500 tickets gifted to key workers from the Greater London area.

Audience members attending the indoor ceremony were not socially distanced or required to wear face coverings once seated.

However, they needed proof of a negative lateral flow test result to enter the venue and will be required to provide details to NHS Test and Trace and follow Government guidance while travelling.

Lipa, Parks, Celeste, rap duo Young T & Bugsey and DJ and producer Joel Corry are all nominated for three awards this year.

Jessie Ware, dance music duo Bicep and rappers AJ Tracey, J Hus and Headie One all scored two nominations apiece.

They join Parks, Dua Lipa, Griff, Headie One, Olivia Rodrigo and Rag’n’Bone Man and Pink with the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust Choir on the live billing for the event.

The show will also see Taylor Swift celebrated with the global icon Brit Award, becoming the first female artist to win the prize.

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Ahead of the ceremony, Dua Lipa paid tribute to the late singer Amy Winehouse on the red carpet.

She arrived at the venue in a golden dress with a beehive hairdo in an apparent nod to Winehouse, who died in 2011.

The singer, who is up for three awards, said she was “very excited” to be at the ceremony.

Olivia Rodrigo, who scored a number one earlier this year with Drivers License, said it is her first time in the UK and she has “always wanted to come”.

“It is just such a whirlwind. I feel so lucky,” she said.

The ceremony continues on ITV.