Bafta host Stephen Fry leaves Twitter after calling costume designer Jenny Beavan a 'bag lady'

Stephen Fry appeared to shut down his Twitter account after receiving a barrage of criticism after calling the Best Costume Designer winner a "bag lady".

The comedian, who was hosting the event, faced criticism online after he made a joke over Jenny Beavan's attire when she collected her award.

The 58-year-old said: "Only one of the great cinematic costume designers would come to the awards ceremony dressed like a bag lady."

Angry Twitter users demanded he apologise and Fry replied calling them "sanctimonious" and "tragic".

He defended his joke saying Jenny "is a friend and joshing is legitimate".

Just hours later, his Twitter account appeared to have been shut down.

Many of Fry's fans defended his joke.

One user tweeted: "I loved it, great gag. Imagine how boring you must be to get offended by jokes like that."

Another posted: "Mr Fry. We are lucky we have you to remind us to laugh. Now you don't need me to tell you to ignore the twits. Now do you."