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Last Updated: Friday, 6 October 2006, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
Fry quits as host of film Baftas
Stephen Fry
Fry starred in Blackadder and Jeeves and Wooster
Stephen Fry has announced he is stepping down as the host of the Bafta Film Awards.

The comedian, actor and writer has been a popular host of the prestigious awards - the UK's answer to the Oscars - over the past six years.

"It has been a tremendous six years, and I look forward to watching it without nerves in the future," he said.

Fry recently hosted BBC documentary The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive, on his struggle with bipolar disorder.

BBC One controller Peter Fincham, whose channel has broadcast the Bafta Film Awards since 2003, said Fry was "brilliant, but I entirely respect his wish to hang up his dinner jacket".

Bafta is now looking for a new host, with some media reports naming Jonathan Ross as a possible replacement.

David Parfitt, chairman of the Bafta Film Committee, said: "Stephen has been a wonderful host and it has been a pleasure to work with him for the last six years.

"We hope to invite him back as a nominee in the not too distant future," he added.

Stephen Fry
Fry has been warmly received by celebrity audiences at the Baftas
Fry's acting film credits include Oscar Wilde biopic Wilde and period drama Gosford Park. He wrote and directed his first film, Bright Young Things, in 2003.

His numerous television appearances include Blackadder and Jeeves and Wooster, and he is also known for his partnership with fellow comedian Hugh Laurie.

Fry currently hosts the comedy TV quiz QI.

Although a significant event in the film awards season, the Baftas have not attracted major TV audiences of late - February's ceremony was watched by three million viewers, down 1.4 million on last year and 2.7 million below the show's 2004 peak.

Next year's Bafta Film Awards will be held on 11 February.

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