Stephen Fry

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images For BAFTA Los Angeles

Stephen Fry is stepping down as host of the BAFTA Film Awards.

Fry said in a statement Friday it was "only right to stand down and let others take the BAFTAs on to new heights and greater glories." The 60-year-old British comedian added, "What fun it will be to watch BAFTA 2018 without my heart hammering, mouth drying and knees trembling."

While the Academy Awards changes its hosts almost yearly, Fry has hosted the annual award show 12 times since 2001. He had a break between 2007-2011, when Jonathan Ross took over. "The mixture of glamour, glory, drama and—occasionally—embarrassment and hiccup holds a unique place in the British film calendar," he said. "Over the last two decades I have especially loved watching the emergence of new young film talent behind and in front of the camera."

Fry's replacement will be named Tuesday, when this year's nominees are revealed.

Amanda Berry, BAFTA's chief executive, said in a statement Friday, "On behalf of everyone at BAFTA, I would like to sincerely thank Stephen Fry for making each and every one of the Film Awards that he's presented such memorable and joyous occasions. We will miss him tremendously." Fry added, "I want to thank all the production staff, Amanda Berry and her wonderful BAFTA colleagues, the BBC and all those who helped make every year so enjoyable."

"I reserve especial gratitude and imagination for Ivor Baddiel and Phil Kerr," the comedian said, "whose work on the scripts was so skillful it made people think I'd written every line myself."

This year's ceremony will take place Feb. 18 at London's Royal Albert Hall.

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