Joanna Lumley is to replace Stephen Fry as the BAFTAs host.

The 'Absolutely Fabulous' star will take on the prestigious role after the 60-year-old comedian stepped down from the position last week after fronting 12 ceremonies.

Lumley was revealed to be hosting the awards ceremony on Tuesday (09.01.18) where she said: ''Honestly how exciting is this? It's just so unbelievably thrilling.

''I always thought of looking at the BAFTA film awards with just Stephen Fry there forever more. So who thought I would turn into Stephen Fry ... Thrilling! It's funny because I have been voting for BAFTA for so long and knowing that six and a half other people are voting for BAFTA and yet every year when you hear the list of nominations coming out some part of your heart is going, 'Ooh I do hope,' and sometimes you go 'yes' and sometimes you go, 'Oh no they left that out.' And so it's always a terrific kind of turmoil of emotions. And I don't have to be connected to that because I am above it all now. But I am thrilled and I want to thank BAFTA so much for asking me to do this. I said yes indecently quickly. And thank you. I will see you on the night.''

Fry quit his hosting role to let someone else take the ceremony onto ''new heights and greater glories'' and admitted he is looking forward to watching the 2018 spectacle without being as nervous as usual.

He 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.

''What fun it will be to watch BAFTA 2018 without my heart hammering, mouth drying and knees trembling.''

Stephen took a break between 2007 and 2011 with Jonathan Ross taking over.

This year's BAFTAs will take place at London's Royal Albert Hall on February 18.