For the first time in years, actor, writer and humorist Stephen Fry will not be the master of ceremonies when the red carpet is rolled out for the BAFTA Film Awards next month, with the longtime host announcing that he will step aside this year. A new emcee for the glittering event will be unveiled next week, along with the BAFTA nominations.
Fry has fronted the BAFTAs 12 times and said it was time for someone else to take the job. “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,” Fry said.
He added: “What fun it will be to watch BAFTA 2018 without my heart hammering, mouth drying and knees trembling.”
The BAFTAs will take place at the Royal Albert Hall, in London, on Sunday, Feb. 18. The ceremony is broadcast by the BBC, on its flagship BBC One channel. Cirque du Soleil will perform at the event.
“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,” BAFTA chief executive Amanda Berry said. “We will miss him tremendously.”