Mel Brooks Receives British Film Institute’s Fellowship

Mel Brooks with BFI chair Greg Dyke (left), John Hurt and Alan Yentob

LONDON — Mel Brooks has been awarded the British Film Institute’s highest honor, the BFI Fellowship, at a private dinner hosted by Greg Dyke, BFI chair.

John Hurt, BFI Fellow and star of Brooks’ films including “A History of the World Part 1” and “Spaceballs,” gave a citation at the event. Alan Yentob, also a BFI Fellow, interviewed Brooks in front of guests that included Terry Gilliam, Mike Leigh, Simon Pegg and Salman Rushdie.

The Fellowship is awarded by the BFI board of governors, and it is presented for outstanding achievement in film and television. Previous recipients include Ralph Fiennes, David Cronenberg, Judi Dench, Tim Burton, Martin Scorsese and Orson Welles.

Brooks said: “I am deeply honored to be the recipient of the BFI Fellowship and to be inducted into such distinguished company. When I was informed that I had been chosen, I was surprised and delighted. Not many Americans have been offered this prestigious award… and for good reason.”

Dyke said: “We are thrilled to honor Mel Brooks with a BFI Fellowship. His brilliant wit and satire have continued to surprise and delight and, sometimes, astonish, as he delights in flouting convention, taking comedy to areas once held taboo. Mel’s irrepressible energy and dazzling originality have made the world a much funnier place.”

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