Stephen Fry steps down as Bafta Film Awards host

Stephen Fry. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Stephen Fry. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Stephen Fry has announced he is stepping down as host of the Bafta Film Awards after more than a decade.

The renowned actor and comedian said it 'felt only right' to hand over the baton, having stood at the helm of the prestigious ceremony 12 times.

The 60-year-old said in a statement: 'Every one of the 12 Bafta Film Award ceremonies that I had the privilege of hosting has a place in my memory.

'The mixture of glamour, glory, drama and - occasionally - embarrassment and hiccup holds a unique place in the British film calendar.

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'Over the last two decades I have especially loved watching the emergence of new young film talent behind and in front of the camera. But after so long a time I felt it only right to stand down and let others take the Baftas on to new heights and greater glories.

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'I want to thank all the production staff, Amanda Berry and her wonderful Bafta colleagues, the BBC and all those who helped make every year so enjoyable.'

He added: 'I reserve especial gratitude and imagination for Ivor Baddiel and Phil Kerr, whose work on the scripts was so skillful it made people think I'd written every line myself.

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'What fun it will be to watch Bafta 2018 without my heart hammering, mouth drying and knees trembling.'

The news comes barely a month before the awards ceremony returns to London's Royal Albert Hall, but his replacement has yet to be announced.

Bafta chief executive Amanda Berry said: 'On behalf of everyone at Bafta, I would like to sincerely thank Stephen Fry for making each and every one of the Film Awards that he's presented such memorable and joyous occasions.

'We will miss him tremendously. We will reveal who our host for the 2018 Awards will be on Tuesday, 9 January, at our nominations press conference.'

The ceremony will take place on Sunday February 18, and will feature a performance from Cirque du Soleil's latest show, Ovo.

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