Joanna Lumley has been revealed as the new host of this year’s Bafta Film Awards.
The Absolutely Fabulous actress, 71, described the opportunity as “unbelievably thrilling” as she prepares to take over from Stephen Fry as the first female host since the ceremony was co-hosted by Mariella Frostrup in 2001.
“Honestly, how exciting is this?”, Lumley 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.”
Lumley’s involvement in the ceremony comes after Fry confirmed last week that he wouldn’t be returning after a ten year tenure as host.
In a statement, the comedian thanked BAFTA for helping to ‘make every year so enjoyable’.
“Every one of the 12 BAFTA Film Award ceremonies that I had the privilege of hosting has a place in my memory,” Fry said.
“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.”
Earlier today, the Bafta nominations were revealed for this year’s ceremony with The Shape Of Water leading the charge after bagging 12 nominations including Best Actress for Sally Hawkins and Best Director for Guillermo Del Toro.
It was closely followed by Winston Churchill drama Darkest Hour and black comedy Three Bilboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which both received nine nods.