Lenny Henry paid tribute to “a special member of the Comic Relief family” Louis Tomlinson following the tragic and sudden death of his 18-year-old sister Félicité.
The X Factor judge, 27, was set to perform on the telethon, but pulled out following the news.
Referencing the tragedy, Henry, 60, said, “Tonight we were due to be joined by a special member of the Comic Relief family.
“Louis Tomlinson wanted to be on this stage to help us, but the sudden and tragic loss of his sister Felicite obviously means he can’t be here.”
He continued, “The love and best wishes from all of us here at Comic Relief go out to Louis and his family at this terrible time.”
Emergency services were called to Félicité’s studio flat in West London following reports of a cardiac arrest.
Tomlinson was thought to have performed his latest single Two Of Us if he was to perform on the show, the song detailing his mother Johannah Deakin’s battle with cancer.
Deakin died aged 42 in 2016 after suffering from leukaemia.
Speaking about the new release last week, he explained to BBC Radio 1, “It was something I needed to get off my chest.
“I used to lean on my mum for a lot of things – anytime I needed advice on something she would be the first call I made.”
Comic Relief featured a star-studded line of up guests and performances last night, including a brief Bodyguard skit starring Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes reprising their roles as David Budd and Julia Montague.
Jennifer Saunders flexed her comedy muscles as Cher in ABBA spoof Mamma Mia: Here We Go Yet Again, and the cast of Four Weddings and a Funeral reunited to watch Lily James marry Alicia Vikander in One Red Nose Day and a Funeral.
The grand total raised after this year’s fundraiser was £63,548,668.