The celebrated actor and author Richard E Grant will host this year’s Bafta film awards, it has been announced, in an expanded format of the show.
Grant, best known for his role in the classic 1987 film Withnail and I, said: “I feel hugely privileged to be hosting the EE Baftas for the first time and the opportunity to celebrate the very best of the extraordinary range of this year’s films.”
Jane Millichip, chief executive of Bafta, said: “We are blessed to have a fantastic lineup of hosts for our 2023 EE Bafta film awards, all of whom exude wit, charm and warmth.
“I can’t wait to see Richard E Grant take to the stage. Much-loved by our audience at home, Richard also commands huge respect from his industry peers.”
Previous presenters of the awards have included Stephen Fry, who announced he was stepping down in 2018 after hosting the annual show 12 times.
His successor, Joanna Lumley, was widely panned for her two-year stint. Graham Norton has also had a go and last year, Rebel Wilson took on the hosting duties.
The organisers previously announced a shake-up of the format, with Alison Hammond fronting a new Bafta Studio from the Royal Festival Hall to give viewers an “access-all-areas experience of one of the biggest nights in film”.
Presenter Vick Hope and broadcaster and film critic Ali Plumb will take over Bafta’s red carpet arrivals show, which will be streamed live across Bafta’s social channels and will feature interviews with nominees and other special guests.
For the first time, the ceremony will culminate in a live broadcast to reveal the final four category winners, enabling audiences at home to experience the nominees’ and winners’ reactions in real-time.
In previous years, the ceremony has been recorded and broadcast as-live on the same day.
The nominated films and talent for this year’s awards will be unveiled on Thursday.
Titles that made it on to the longlist for best film include Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin; Everything Everywhere All at Once; and the Bill Nighy vehicle Living.
Talent including Michelle Yeoh, Viola Davis, Bill Nighy and Colin Farrell made the longlist for the leading actor and actress categories, which were announced on 6 January.
The nominations will be announced via a global livestream hosted by actors Hayley Atwell and Toheeb Jimoh on Thursday at midday, from Bafta’s newly redeveloped HQ in London’s Piccadilly.
Hope and Plumb will also host a takeover of Bafta social channels once the nominations have been revealed.
This year’s Baftas will take place on 19 February at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in London.
The show will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 7pm-9pm on the same day.