Stephen Fry to host Baftas for 12th time

Awards ceremony returns to former venue Royal Albert Hall and Fry is back as host, despite furore last year on Twitter over ‘bag lady’ joke.

Stephen Fry has been named as the host of next year’s Baftas, which will return to the Royal Albert Hall, in London, for the first time since 1997.

The TV and film personality has hosted the event 11 times, but faced criticism from some on Twitter last year when he said of his friend Jenny Beavan: “Only one of the great cinematic costume designers would come to an awards ceremony dressed as a bag lady.”

Beavan won the Bafta for best costume design for her work on Mad Max: Fury Road.

Fry reacted angrily and criticised the “sanctimonious” users who had not enjoyed the joke, writing “Jenny Beavan is a friend and joshing is legitimate. Christ, I want to leave the planet.” Fry and Beavan have worked together on Gosford Park and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Fry then left Twitter, saying: “Just one turd in a reservoir is enough to persuade one not to drink from it.” He rejoined the site in August.

The 2017 awards ceremony will include a performance by Cirque du Soleil, who will be in residence at the venue from 12 January to 4 February with their touring show, Amaluna.

The awards were last held at the Festival Hall in 1997, when the film and TV ceremonies were combined. The Royal Opera House, which had hosted the awards since 2008, is being refurbished this year.

The Bafta nominations will be announced on 10 January, and the ceremony will take place on 12 February.