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Stephen Fry to return as Bafta host despite 'bag lady' furore

Published 08/11/2016

Bafta bosses have announced that Stephen Fry, 59, will be hosting the event for a 12th year
Bafta bosses have announced that Stephen Fry, 59, will be hosting the event for a 12th year

Stephen Fry will be hosting next year's Bafta ceremony - despite being subjected to a backlash following his "bag lady" joke.

He quit Twitter hours after being hounded on the social media site for his quip about costume design winner Jenny Beavan at February's ceremony.

But Bafta bosses have announced that the star, 59, will be hosting the event for a 12th year, at what will be its new venue at the Royal Albert Hall.

The film awards were previously held at London's Royal Opera House.

Fry came under fire for saying that "only one of the great cinematic costume designers would come to an awards dressed as a bag lady" after Beavan collected her trophy for Mad Max: Fury Road in trousers, a leather jacket and scarf .

After criticism on Twitter and audible boos in the auditorium, he tweeted: "So just a word to the tragic figures who think calling Jenny Beavan a bag lady was an insult. She's a dear friend and she got it. Derrr."

He added: "Will all you sanctimonious f****** f*** the f*** off Jenny Beavan is a friend and joshing is legitimate. Christ I want to leave the planet."

Fry then quit Twitter, remarking: "Too many people have peed in the pool for you to want to swim there any more."

The former QI host later announced he was moving to Hollywood with husband Elliott Spencer for several months for a pre-arranged project.

But his spokesman said that the move had nothing to do with the Bafta upset.

Next year's ceremony will feature Cirque de Soleil, which will be in residence at the Royal Albert Hall at the time of the Awards.

Bafta chief executive Amanda Berry said: "Both Bafta and the Royal Albert Hall enjoy a long history of showcasing world-class talent, making this iconic and treasured building the perfect fit for the film awards.

"I am also thrilled we have the opportunity to work with Cirque du Soleil, during its season at the Royal Albert Hall, and have no doubt that next year's ceremony will be all the more magical for this creative collaboration."

Nominations for the EE British Academy Film Awards will be announced on January 10 2017 and the awards take place on February 12.

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