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Last Updated: Monday, 21 February, 2005, 14:53 GMT
Norton to present TV Bafta show
Graham Norton
Norton signed an exclusive deal with the BBC in December 2003
Television entertainer Graham Norton will host this year's Bafta TV awards.

The Irish comedian - who has previously won three Bafta awards - will host the central London ceremony that celebrates the best of British television.

Norton said it was "a huge thrill" to take the helm at the awards, which will be held on Sunday 17 April.

Nominations for the awards will be announced next month. Last year's big winners included The Office, Little Britain and actor Bill Nighy.

'Great night'

This year's Bafta nominations will be announced on Monday 14 March.

Norton said: "Obviously being asked to host the Bafta awards is a huge thrill, not to mention a lot easier than sitting in the audience pretending to be pleased for the winners."

The ceremony will be held at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and broadcast on BBC One the same evening.

There are 18 performance and production categories, including best actor, best actress, best entertainment performance, best drama series and best news coverage.

Hilary Bevan Jones, chair of the Academy's television committee, said: "As an exceptional talent and previous multiple Bafta winner, Graham has the perfect credentials to host the most prestigious Awards ceremony in the television industry."

Norton signed an exclusive BBC deal at the end of 2003.

His first programme - called Strictly Dance Fever - will be based on the ballroom show Strictly Come Dancing but feature members of the public instead of celebrities.

The BBC One series is due to air later this year.

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