Stephen Fry to step down as Bafta Film Awards host after 12 years

The comedy writer and performer will be replaced by a new host, to be announced next week

Stephen Fry attending the British Academy Film Award Nominations event (BAFTA, HF)

This February’s annual Bafta film awards will mark the end of an era, with longtime host Stephen Fry choosing to step down after 12 years presenting the ceremony.

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The 2018 awards, which will take place on Sunday 18th February at the Royal Albert Hall in London, will instead be led by a new host, to be revealed along with the award nominations on Tuesday 9th January.

Fry first hosted the ceremony in 2001, continuing in the role until 2007 when Jonathan Ross took over hosting duties for a number of years. In 2012, Fry returned to lead the show.

“Every one of the 12 Bafta film award ceremonies that I had the privilege of hosting has a place in my memory,” Fry said.

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

Stephen Fry’s first year hosting the Film Baftas

He continued, “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. I reserve especial gratitude and imagination for Ivor Baddiel and Phil Kerr, whose work on the scripts was so skilful it made people think I’d written every line myself.

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

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of Bafta, added: “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.”

Sounds like the actors, screenwriters and other filmmakers won’t be the only famous faces anxiously waiting for their names to be read out next week…

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The Bafta 2018 Film Awards will take place on Sunday 18th February