James Blunt has described news of a vaccine roll-out as “really special” and joked that he plans to test the jab on his children first.

The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, paving the way for vaccinations to start next week.

The chart-topping singer, 46, said the development allowed musicians, including himself, to book tours for 2021 with confidence.

Coronavirus – Thu Nov 19, 2020
(David Cheskin/PA)

Blunt, whose latest album Once Upon A Mind was released last year, said mass vaccination was the only way to open up the music sector.

He told Good Morning Britain: “As touring musicians that is exactly what we are waiting for because live music is about strangers together standing shoulder to shoulder. And you can put us in tiers or you can lock us down but nothing will open up music until we have all had a vaccine. So it is really special.

“That is why we are now really convinced that our tour dates next year are going to go ahead and we are putting new tour dates on literally today with this news.

“One hopes that there will be enough people up for the vaccine that we will have herd immunity in that way.”

He joked: “I for one know that I will test it on my children first and if they don’t grow a third arm then I will definitely have it myself.”

Blunt is well-known for trading barbs with his critics on Twitter but told host Piers Morgan he had no plans to give up social media.

“Definitely not because I am making money out of it,” he said.

On how he manages his online presence, he added: “I think what I have learned from it is to not take it so seriously. It’s not the real world and in the real world people are generally much nicer to each other.

“And if you are going to reply on social media take a deep breathe and do it without emotion, before you get into it.”