ENTERTAINMENT
05/01/2018 15:38 GMT | Updated 05/01/2018 17:34 GMT

Stephen Fry Quits Baftas Presenting Job: 8 Women Who Could Replace Him As Host In 2018

Here are our top picks.

With Stephen Fry bidding farewell to the Baftas after 12 years of presenting, attention has already turned to who will replace him, with his successor to be announced next week.

Names including  Graham Norton, James Corden and Ricky Gervais (maybe, no thank you and NO THANK YOU) are already being thrown around as potential candidates, but we reckon it’s time to let a female host take over, particularly as the film industry is currently at the centre of what looks to be a sea change movement, largely led by women.

We’re guessing with days to go that Bafta has already chosen its new host, but just in case they’re still taking suggestions, we’ve picked eight women who would totally boss this year’s ceremony...

1. Claudia Winkleman

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Her past stints hosting ‘Film [Insert Year Here]’ and Oscars coverage for Sky prove that she knows her stuff when it comes to cinema, and more to the point, she’s become one of the UK’s most celebrated presenters in recent years.

Claudia had big shoes to fill when she took over from Sir Bruce Forsyth as presenter of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, but week after week she’s helped cement the show’s place as one of the most talked about and beloved on British telly. Our top pick, in all honesty.

2. Sue Perkins

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Although probably best known as one half of a comedy duo, Sue proved she can do just fine alone when she took over presenting duties of the TV Baftas last year, succeeding talk show giant Graham Norton.

After winning praise for doing a good job on the TV counterpart, we reckon she’d be more than capable of making the jump to the film Baftas too. Our only concern is that she’s not someone we immediately think of when it comes to “cinema”, but if she can help propel a show about baking to national treasure status, surely the Baftas would be a walk in the park?

3. Clara Amfo

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Having been at the BBC for a while now, fans of Clara have been waiting for her to bag a high-profile TV presenting gig, and we think this could well be the one.

While someone best known as a DJ on Radio 1 might seem like an unlikely choice for a prestigious awards show like the Baftas, Clara has previously showed off her skills as a guest host on ‘Film 2016’.

She’d also bring a fresh perspective to the ceremony, and more importantly, possibly rope in a younger viewers who might have previously found it a little dusty and tired (no offence to Stephen Fry, obv).

4. Emma Thompson

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She’s one of Britain’s top actresses, with two Baftas for her leading film roles to her name already, but Emma is also an award-winning writer and without a doubt, one of the most interesting characters in British cinema today.

Not having a film out that could be nominated in 2018 frees Emma up to host the whole thing, which we reckon she’d be able to pull off without batting an eyelid.

Plus, after her reaction to the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations went viral, we’d be interested to see what she had to say with the entire film industry in front of her, forced to sit and listen.

5. Michaela Coel

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Although her profile as an actress is continuously growing thanks to her roles in TV shows ‘The Aliens’ and ‘Black Mirror’, Michaela is also the creator and star of the TV-bafta winning comedy, ‘Chewing Gum’.

We already know she can have us rolling in the aisles (as well as creating the show, Michaela wrote every episode), so we’d be really interested to hear her take on the glitz and glamour of awards season. Our only concern would be, like the aforementioned Sue Perkins, whether or not she’d be held back byher lack of experience in the film industry.

6. Sandi Toksvig

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As we’ve mentioned, Stephen Fry has 12 years of experience under his belt as presenter of the Baftas, and for many people who tune in year after year, he’s synonymous with the ceremony.

Sandi Toksvig is someone who already knows a thing or two about proving herself as a competent host when her predecessor is already a staple of the project she’s taken on. Not only did she win herself a new legion of fans in 2017 when she made a success as the new co-host of Channel 4’s ‘Great British Bake Off’ reboot, she previously took over from Stephen Fry when she stepped down as the host of panel show, ‘QI’.

7. Katherine Ryan

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As awards season looms, there’s a lot of intrigue around how the film industry plans to tackle the numerous stories of sexual abuse allegations against a number of its key figures which have consistently been in the headlines since the second half of last year.

Rather than shying away from the issue, we reckon what could be in order is a host who will tell it exactly like it is: enter Katherine Ryan, whose comedy frequently centres around celebrity culture and feminism.

We’re not sure her tell-it-like-it-is attitude would be to every BBC viewer’s tastes, but it’d certainly ruffle a few feathers.

8. Alison Hammond

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That being said, maybe what 2018′s awards season could do with is a healthy dose of comic relief.

Now, we acknowledge that a former ‘Big Brother’ contestant turned ‘This Morning’ presenter might not be the obvious choice to take over the reins from Stephen Fry, on what is undeniably the UK’s most prestigious of awards shows.

But when you consider that in the last year alone, Alison has comfortably held her own next to Tom Cruise, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Hugh Jackman, Keanu Reeves, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Harrison Ford, she just might be an unlikely smash hit.

The 2018 Baftas will take place on Sunday 18 February at the Royal Albert Hall in London, airing on BBC One that evening.

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