Joanna Lumley to be new Bafta Film Awards host

Joanna Lumley with her Bafta TV Award in 2017
Joanna Lumley with her Bafta TV Award in 2017Image copyright Getty Images

Joanna Lumley is to replace Stephen Fry as host of this year’s Bafta Film Awards.

The Absolutely Fabulous actress will be the first female host since Mariella Frostrup co-presented with Fry in 2001.

He has presided over the ceremony 12 times since then, but has announced he feels it’s time to “let others take the Baftas on to new heights”.

Lumley got a rapturous reception when she received the Bafta Fellowship at the Bafta TV Awards last May.

She was confirmed as host after this year’s nominations were announced – led by Guillermo Del Toro’s fantasy romance The Shape of Water, which is up for 12 prizes.

“Honestly, how exciting is this?” she said. “It’s just so unbelievably thrilling. Who thought I’d turn into Stephen Fry?

“I want to thank Bafta so much for asking me to do this. I said yes indecently quickly.”

This year’s film awards ceremony will take place at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 18 February.

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