The ceremony takes place on Sunday at the Royal Festival Hall
Richard E Grant said organisers of the Baftas know he is not going to “roast” fellow actors at the weekend.
The 65-year-old actor – known for parts in Gosford Park, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker and Downton Abbey – will host the 76th annual film awards ceremony at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall on Sunday.
Grant said he was “amazed” to be in the company of comedians Stephen Fry, Graham Norton and Rebel Wilson, who have been hosts.
Last year, Pitch Perfect and Bridesmaids actress Wilson made risque jokes about the royal family, Vladimir Putin, the gender pay gap, her flop film Cats and her recent weight loss.
Grant added: “So I was surprised…and I thought because I was so unashamedly enthusiastic during the awards circuit four years ago, when I was nominated for (a Bafta).
“(Bafta organisers) must know that I’m going to be a celebratory person rather than somebody who’s there to roast other actors so hopefully, that’s (going to) work out, I don’t know yet.”
He first rose to prominence by playing a hapless drunk actor in Withnail And I in 1987 and was nominated for a Bafta and an Oscar for his role in crime biography Can You Ever Forgive Me? in 2019.
Following his award nod, he released a video of him jumping on a trampoline to social media.
The comedy drama film is based on the true story of Lee Israel’s confessional autobiography of the same name about forging writer’s letters and sees Melissa McCarthy as Israel and Grant as Jack Hock, her accidental friend and accomplice.
On the Baftas next weekend, Grant said he was “such a fanboy” of fellow thespians that he found it an “incredible privilege” to meet Bafta nominees.
This year sees Netflix’s anti-war epic All Quiet On The Western Front with 14 nominations – while The Banshees Of Inisherin, starring Colin Farrell, and Everything Everywhere All At Once, featuring Michelle Yeoh, follow closely behind with 10 nominations each.
Grant added that this time when he is at an awards ceremony, he will not be thinking “are you going to win?”, but that someone does not get slapped live on TV as the final four categories will be broadcast in real time for the first time in Baftas history.
Last year, Will Smith apologised after he stormed the stage at the Oscars and slapped Chris Rock. He was banned from all Academy events for the next 10 years.
Grant’s friend of more than 30 years, Steve Martin – who he met when they filmed LA Story and previously hosted the Oscars, told him to be the “best of yourself”.
When asked what kind of host he would be, Grant added: “I’m going to be singing like Billy Crystal, dancing like Fred Astaire, funnier than Bob Hope, more beautiful than Joanna Lumley…I have no idea. It’s very hard to see yourself on the outside.”
TV personality Alison Hammond, who presents ITV’s This Morning with Dermot O’Leary, is hosting Bafta Studio – an immersive and access-all-areas experience.
She said her “dream job” has come true as her part of the BBC One show will be about “the glitz and glamour” behind the scenes and gossip.
Hammond added: “So it’s literally everything that you kind of want to see at an award ceremony that you never get to see, it’s a new concept, which I think everyone’s going to absolutely love.”
She also said: “My challenge is to watch all of the films before the big night on the 19th. So that is a big challenge, but I’m enjoying it.
“I’m trying not to fall asleep in any of the movies but it’s hard, you know, when you’ve been working all day long.”
Published: 13/02/2023 by Radio NewsHub