Matt Damon had to pull out of the BAFTA Britannia Awards due to a ''family emergency''.

The 47-year-old actor was honoured with the Stanley Kubrick Award for Excellence in Film at the Los Angeles ceremony on Friday (27.10.17) but pulled out of attending at the last minute to return to Boston ''urgently''.

Kate Mara gave a touching speech about the 'Suburbicon' star before taking the accolade on his behalf.

She explained: ''Unfortunately Matt has urgently needed to travel to Boston and couldn't join us tonight. As much as we wish he was here with us, we know family comes first. So our thoughts are with you, Matt, and much love from your friends here in LA.''

After filmed tributes from the likes of George Clooney, Julianne Moore and directors Paul Greengrass and Stephen Soderbergh, a video message from Matt was then played to the audience at the Beverly Hilton hotel.

He said: ''Hello and thank you to everyone at BAFTA.

''I found out about this award six months ago and I was just so incredibly honoured to receive it and I was really looking forward to tonight.

''Unfortunately, I had to go back to Boston for a family emergency. I'm really sorry not to be with you tonight.

''Thank you for this wonderful honour and I hope you have a lovely evening. See you soon.''

While it wasn't specified why the 'Martian' star - who raises daughters Alexia, 18, Isabella, 11, Gia, nine, and Stella, seven, with wife Luciana Barroso - had to return home, it has been reported his father, Kent Damon, is seriously ill.

A BAFTA member told DailyMail.com: ''Matt is not attending now. We heard that he had a family crises and that his father was taken gravely ill. But we have not heard anymore than that. A few people know but the majority of guests were not informed.''

It is believed organisers were told Matt wouldn't be attending several hours before the ceremony started.