BRITs 2020: Jack Whitehall starts with tribute to Caroline Flack

Jack Whitehall opened the 2020 BRIT awards on Tuesday night by paying tribute to ‘kind’ and ‘infectious’ Caroline Flack following her tragic death on Saturday.

The comedian, 31, said in a heartfelt speech: ‘Over the weekend, we learnt the awful news that a member of the BRITs family, our friend, Caroline Flack, tragically passed away. 

‘She was a kind and vibrant person with an infectious sense of fun, she will be sorely missed. I’m sure I speak for everyone here when I say our thoughts are with her friends and family.’

Tribute: Jack Whitehall opened the show by paying tribute to 'kind' and 'infectious' Caroline Flack following her tragic death

Tribute: Jack Whitehall opened the show by paying tribute to 'kind' and 'infectious' Caroline Flack following her tragic death

Tribute: Jack Whitehall opened the show by paying tribute to ‘kind’ and ‘infectious’ Caroline Flack following her tragic death

Caroline took her own life aged 40 after a worried friend who was staying with her went to the shops, leaving the ex-Love Island presenter alone at her London flat.  

The tribute was followed by a fitting performance from Lewis Capaldi who sung his emotional hit track Someone You Loved. 

While Caroline’s ex-boyfriend Harry Styles, whom she briefly dated in 2011 when he was 17 and she was 32, performed his new track Falling and earlier in the night he wore a black ribbon on his lapel in memory of her. 

Tragic: The comedian, 31, said in a heartfelt speech: 'Over the weekend, we learnt the awful news that a member of the BRITs family, our friend, Caroline Flack, tragically passed away.' (Caroline pictured at the 2019 BRITs)

Tragic: The comedian, 31, said in a heartfelt speech: 'Over the weekend, we learnt the awful news that a member of the BRITs family, our friend, Caroline Flack, tragically passed away.' (Caroline pictured at the 2019 BRITs)

Tragic: The comedian, 31, said in a heartfelt speech: ‘Over the weekend, we learnt the awful news that a member of the BRITs family, our friend, Caroline Flack, tragically passed away.’ (Caroline pictured at the 2019 BRITs) 

Emotional: The tribute was followed by a fitting performance from Lewis Capaldi

Emotional: The tribute was followed by a fitting performance from Lewis Capaldi

Sad: He performed his emotional hit track Someone You Loved

Sad: He performed his emotional hit track Someone You Loved

Emotional: The tribute was followed by a fitting performance from Lewis Capaldi who performed his emotional hit track Someone You Loved

Statement: Earlier in the night, the singer, 26, wore a black ribbon on his lapel in memory of Caroline

Statement: Earlier in the night, the singer, 26, wore a black ribbon on his lapel in memory of Caroline

Tribute: Harry, who dated Caroline in 2011 when he was 17 and she was 32, wore the ribbon which means in mourning

Tribute: Harry, who dated Caroline in 2011 when he was 17 and she was 32, wore the ribbon which means in mourning

Statement: Earlier in the night, the singer, 26, wore a black ribbon on his lapel in memory of Caroline

Caroline had been a regular staple at the BRIT awards, attending the red carpet and event consecutively for the last nine years since 2011. 

The ITV star took her own life after a worried friend who was staying with her went to the shops, leaving the ex-Love Island presenter alone at her London flat.

It came just hours after she was told she would face trial for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton, something she denied. 

An inquest into Caroline’s death is due to open on Wednesday morning, just four days after the former Love Island host was found dead.

Upsetting: Caroline took her own life aged 40 after a worried friend who was staying with her went to the shops, leaving the ex- Love Island presenter alone at her London flat

Upsetting: Caroline took her own life aged 40 after a worried friend who was staying with her went to the shops, leaving the ex- Love Island presenter alone at her London flat

Upsetting: Caroline took her own life aged 40 after a worried friend who was staying with her went to the shops, leaving the ex- Love Island presenter alone at her London flat

It will open and adjourn at 10am at Poplar Coroner’s Court in London, a representative of the court has confirmed.

Her management have slammed the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for pursuing the ‘show trial’ after Lewis said he did not want to press charges.  

Caroline had been described by friends as feeling ‘she was on her own’ and ‘couldn’t see a way out,’ according to The Mirror

It was also understood she had been struggling with her mental health and using anti-depressants before her death.

The TV presenter’s death was confirmed by a lawyer for the family. The Flack family said in a statement: ‘We can confirm that our Caroline passed away today on the 15th February. We would ask that the press respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time.’

A worried producer friend had been staying with the star but found she couldn’t get back into her flat after returning from the shops, a source said. She called Caroline’s father Ian who gained entry to the flat where he found the star’s body. 

More recently: Caroline pictured posing with a rose at the 2018 BRITs

More recently: Caroline pictured posing with a rose at the 2018 BRITs

Last appearance: Caroline's last appearance at the BRITs was last February at the 2019 show

Last appearance: Caroline's last appearance at the BRITs was last February at the 2019 show

More recently: Caroline pictured posing with a rose at the 2018 BRITs, left, and at the last February at the 2019 show, right 

Love Island also released a statement, they said: ‘Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news. 

‘Caroline was a much loved member of the Love Island team and our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends.’ 

Following Caroline’s death, many fans have taken to social media to demand that Love Island be axed, after she became the third person associated with the show to take their own life.

Former contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon, took their own lives in March 2019 and June 2018.

Among fans calling the show out was This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes who paid tribute to Caroline while insisting there needs to be ‘repercussions.’

Heartbreaking: Caroline took her own life after a worried friend who was staying with her went to the shops, leaving the ex-Love Island presenter alone at her London flat (pictured in 2018)

Heartbreaking: Caroline took her own life after a worried friend who was staying with her went to the shops, leaving the ex-Love Island presenter alone at her London flat (pictured in 2018)

Heartbreaking: Caroline took her own life after a worried friend who was staying with her went to the shops, leaving the ex-Love Island presenter alone at her London flat (pictured in 2018) 

He wrote on Twitter: ‘Caroline Flack …. Dear God. Shocked beyond belief. May she have found peace. #Rip Has to be repercussions for Love Island now surely?’ which garnered more than 27K likes. 

Eamonn later added: ‘Meaning out of respect, can the series continue?’ (sic)

A CPS spokesperson issued a statement, they said: ‘Our deepest sympathies go to the family and friends of Caroline Flack.

‘Given the tragic circumstances, we will not comment on the specifics of this case at this stage.’ 

Lewis Capaldi, former One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles and grime star Stormzy are among the artists nominated in a male-dominated BRIT Awards shortlist. 

Tragic: It came just hours after she was told she would face trial for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton, something she denied (pictured together in October)

Tragic: It came just hours after she was told she would face trial for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton, something she denied (pictured together in October)

Tragic: It came just hours after she was told she would face trial for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton, something she denied (pictured together in October) 

Lewis, 23, has four nominations, while Stormzy, 26, and Harry, 25, have each been put forward for Male Solo Artist and Album of the Year. 

Billie Eilish, 18, received a nod in the International Female Solo Artist category alongside the likes of Lizzo and Ariana Grande.  

Despite Billie’s success, only four nominations out of a possible 25 in the categories which are not gender-specific feature women. 

There are no female performers included in the shortlists for best group or album awards, although English singer Mabel, 23, has been nominated for three awards. 

Someone You Loved hitmaker Lewis will go head to head with Funky Friday rapper Dave, 21, as they battle for Best Male Solo Artist.

Nominations: Lewis Capaldi (pictured), former One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles and grime star Stormzy are among the artists nominated in a male-dominated BRIT Awards shortlist

Nominations: Lewis Capaldi (pictured), former One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles and grime star Stormzy are among the artists nominated in a male-dominated BRIT Awards shortlist

Nominations: Lewis Capaldi (pictured), former One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles and grime star Stormzy are among the artists nominated in a male-dominated BRIT Awards shortlist

The duo will also take on one another in the Mastercard Album of the Year category, with Lewis pitting his Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent work against Dave’s Psychodrama 

They face stiff competition from Stormzy’s new release Heavy Is The Head, Michael Kiwanuka’s self-titled LP and Harry Styles’ album, Fine Line.  

Dave is again nominated in the Song of the Year category for Location (ft. Burna Boy), going head to head with AJ Tracey’s Ladbroke Grove, Calvin Harris & Rag’N’Bone Man’s Giant, Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber’s I Don’t Care and Lewis’s Someone You Loved. 

Also nominated is Mark Ronson’s Nothing Breaks Like a Heart (ft. Miley Cyrus), Stormzy’s Vossi Bop, Sam Smith and Normani’s Dancing With a Stranger, Tom Walker’s Just You and I and Mabel’s Don’t Call Me Up. 

Song of the Year is just one of three nods for Mabel, who is also nominated in the Best New Artist category alongside Aitch, Dave, Lewis Capaldi, and Sam Fender as well as Best Female Solo Artist alongside Charli XCX, FKA Twigs, Freya Ridings and Mahalia. 

Bastille, Bring Me The Horizon, Coldplay, D-Block Europe and Foals will go head to head at the ceremony for Best Group. 

Taking it international, Bruce Springsteen, Burna Boy, Tyler, The Creator, Dermot Kennedy and Post Malone have received nods for International Male Solo Artist.  

No Tears Left to Cry singer Ariana Grande, 26, will fight it out against Billie and Lizzo, as well as Camila Cabello and Lana Del Rey to be named best International Female Solo Artist. 

The lack of nominations in for female artists comes despite a major overhaul of the Brits’ voting academy in 2017 to make it more gender balanced and diverse, with hundreds of new members invited to join the pool. 

The awards are voted for by around 1,500 people from across the UK music industry including journalists, record label employees and musicians.

The rising star winner was announced as Celeste late last year, while the producer of the year will be announced at a later date.

The international group and video categories have been axed by organisers this year. 

If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org.  

Nominated: Impressive: Harry, 25, has been put forward for Male Solo Artist and Album of the Year

Nominated: Impressive: Harry, 25, has been put forward for Male Solo Artist and Album of the Year

Nominated: Impressive: Harry, 25, has been put forward for Male Solo Artist and Album of the Year

BRIT Awards 2020: Nominations

British Male Solo Artist

Harry Styles

Lewis Capaldi

Dave

Michael Kiwanuka

Stormzy

British Female Solo Artist

Mabel

Freya Ridings

FKA Twigs

Charli XCX

Mahalia

Song Of The Year

Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – I Don’t Care

Mabel – Don’t Call Me Up

Calvin Harris and Rag’n’Bone Man – Giant

Dave featuring Burna Boy – Location

Mark Ronson featuring Miley Cyrus – Nothing Breaks Like A Heart

AJ Tracey – Ladbroke Grove

Lewis Capaldi – Someone You Loved

Tom Walker – Just You And I

Sam Smith and Normani – Dancing With A Stranger

Stormzy – Vossi Bop

Group

Coldplay

Foals

Bring Me The Horizon

D Block Europe

Bastille 

British Album Of The Year

Stormzy – Heavy Is The Head

Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka

Lewis Capaldi – Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent

Dave – Psychodrama

Harry Styles – Fine Line

International Male Solo Artist

Bruce Springsteen

Burna Boy

Tyler, The Creator

Dermot Kennedy

Post Malone

International Female Solo Artist

Ariana Grande

Billie Eilish

Camila Cabello

Lana Del Rey

Lizzo

New Artist

Aitch

Lewis Capaldi

Dave

Mabel

Sam Fender

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