Stephen Fry is to step down as host of the British Academy Film Awards.

The Norfolk broadcaster and actor began hosting the ceremony in 2001. He had a break from hosting duties between 2007-11, when Jonathan Ross took over.

Fry felt it was the right time to "let others take the BAFTAs on to new heights and greater glories".

The new host will be revealed at the nominations press conference on 9 January Credit: PA

In a statement, 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.”

This year's ceremony will take place at London's Royal Albert Hall Credit: PA

BAFTA thanked Fry for making the awards "such memorable and joyous occasions".

“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 host for this year's awards will be announced at the BAFTA nominations press conference on Tuesday.

The ceremony will take place at London's Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 18 February.