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The ceremony will be held at the Royal Albert Hall and will feature Cirque du Soleil’s latest UK show, OVO

Stephen Fry to step down and a new host to be revealed at the nominations press conference on 9 January

London, 5 January 2018:  The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced today that the EE British Academy Film Awards will be held at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall, taking place on Sunday 18 February 2018 and broadcast on BBC One.

Having presented the Awards 12 times previously, Stephen Fry will be stepping down as the host of the ceremony.

Stephen Fry said:  “Every one of the twelve BAFTA film award ceremonies that I had the privilege of hosting has a place in my memory. 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.

“I want to thank all the production staff, Amanda Berry and her wonderful BAFTA colleagues, the BBC and all those who helped make every year so enjoyable. I reserve especial gratitude and imagination for Ivor Baddiel and Phil Kerr, whose work on the scripts was so skilful it made people think I’d written every line myself. 

“What fun it will be to watch BAFTA 2018 without my heart hammering, mouth drying and knees trembling.”

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, said: “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. We will miss him tremendously. We will reveal who our host for the 2018 Awards will be on Tuesday 9 January at our nominations press conference.”

The 2018 host will be announced at the BAFTA nominations press conference on Tuesday 9 January 2018.

BAFTA has also announced that, for the second year, the EE British Academy Film Awards will feature entertainment company Cirque de Soleil, which will be in residence at the Royal Albert Hall at the time of the Awards with its latest touring show to debut in UK, OVO. Cirque de Soleil will perform a piece especially created for the ceremony.

Lucy Noble, Artistic and Commercial Director at the Royal Albert Hall, said “It was an honour to host BAFTA’s 70th anniversary ceremony in 2017, and we are delighted to welcome the biggest stars of the silver screen back to the Royal Albert Hall in 2018 for this year’s celebration of cinema. The Hall is frequently transformed into Europe’s largest cinema for our Films in Concert series, and our audience’s enduring love of great movies makes us the perfect venue for the glorious celebration of film that is the BAFTAs.”

Daniel Lamarre, President & CEO of Cirque du Soleil said: We are delighted to be part of the BAFTA ceremony, together with our long-time partner, the Royal Albert Hall, for a second consecutive year. We continue to be inspired by all forms of arts from around the world, especially the world of film. It is an honour for us to be celebrating the finest talents in film, both from Britain and across the globe, at this year’s Awards.”

The nominations for the EE British Academy Film Awards will be announced on Tuesday 9 January 2018.