Jack Whitehall pokes fun at 1D and Prince Harry during Royal Variety Performance
Comedian Jack Whitehall joked about Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction during this year's Royal Variety Performance.
The Bad Education actor hosted t he star-studded extravaganza in the presence of Prince Harry.
He wisecracked about replacing Malik, who left band mates Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson, in March.
" 'I was just wondering, obviously you lost a member, and then decided you were going to take a break. But if there was someone around who was willing to step in, might that be a decision you reconsider?" he asked.
Payne pointed to host Whitehall's body and said: "Maybe if you shaved your chest a little bit."
"Don't dig out the chest there, mate," the comedian responded. "I would be taking this from a boyband to a man band. That, my friend, is called puberty," he said to laughter.
One Direction embark on a hiatus of at least a year in 2016.
The variety event was recorded at London's Royal Albert Hall on November 13, and is set for broadcast tonight on ITV.
Kicking off the show, Whitehall said Harry is one of his heroes, adding: "He may only be a prince, but when it comes to banter, all hail the king."
He also quipped that in honour of Harry they would turn the venue into a nightclub after the show.
Whitehall, who went to the same school as Harry's sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, is the youngest presenter of the TV event.
Viewers tuning in will see Jimmy Tarbuck pay tribute to the late Cilla Black.
The night will also showcase p erformers from around the world, including pop sensations Kylie Minogue, Ricky Martin, The Corrs, Josh Groban and The Killers front man Brandon Flowers.
Minogue and Whitehall will swap secret Santa presents, much to the embarrassment of the 27-year-old host.
Music aficionados will appreciate a rare appearance from Jeff Lynne's ELO and there will also be a performance from Little Mix.
On the variety side, a show-stopping moment from the cast of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's multi-award winning musical Mary Poppins is bound to delight.
Britain's Got Talent winners Jules, Matisse and Friends will put the controversy of their win behind them as they endeavour to impress Harry.
Viewers should also look out for a water-based acrobatic routine from Cirque Du Soleil and comedy from Romesh Ranganathan, Chris Ramsey and Matt Forde.
:: The Royal Variety Performance is broadcast on Tuesday December 8 at 7.30pm on ITV