Brit Awards 2017: Dermot O'Leary, Emma Willis to Host as Michael Buble Pulls Out

Warwick Saint
Michael Bublé

British TV personalities Dermot O'Leary and Emma Willis will replace Michael Buble as hosts of next month’s Brit Awards after the Canadian singer pulled out to care for his ill three-year-old son.

Buble’s withdrawal from the Brit Awards hosting gig was one of the industry’s worst kept secrets. The singer announced last November he would step away from all immediate showbiz duties while his child battles cancer, and he hasn’t changed course since that unfortunate diagnosis. Buble has stayed off social media, he scrapped his appearance at the December 2016 BBC Music Awards and his participation at this year's Brits seemed unlikely.

Confirmation of Buble’s absence came Monday when trade body the BPI, organizers of the Brit Awards, offered its belated sympathies to the artist’s family and introduced his replacements. 

On the announcement of the 2017 event’s new co-hosts, Brit Awards chairman and chairman of Sony Music U.K. Jason Iley had this to say: “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.”

The annual ceremony will take place Feb. 22 at the O2 in London with Robbie Williams, Little Mix, The 1975 and Emeli Sandé among the first confirmed performers.

Little Mix, Rihanna and Skepta are the early leaders with three nods each while David Bowie and Leonard Cohen are posthumously nominated.