Ab Fab veteran Joanna Lumley has been set as the host of this year’s BAFTA Film Awards, following the departure of Stephen Fry who said last week that he was stepping down after fronting the ceremony 12 times. The announcement was made at this morning’s unveiling of nominations for Britain’s biggest movie prizes, with Lumley in attendance.
The actress, author and activist who starred in 2016’s Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, also features in Heyday Films/Studiocanal’s Paddington 2 which received mentions this morning in the Best British Film, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor categories.
Fry said last week that he was stepping down from his longtime BAFTA emcee role “to let others take the BAFTAs on to new heights and greater glories… What fun it will be to watch BAFTA 2018 without my heart hammering, mouth drying and knees trembling.”
Lumley called the opportunity to host “so unbelievably thrilling,” saying she thought the host would have been “Stephen Fry forever more… Who would have thought I would turn into Stephen Fry?”
Adding that she understood the “turmoil of emotions” for the contenders on BAFTA night, she joked, “I don’t have to be connected with that because I’m above it all.” The BAFTA ceremony will be held on February 18 at London’s Royal Albert Hall.