Bafta will not hand out any special awards in upcoming prize ceremony

·3-min read

Bafta said it will not hand out any special awards at its upcoming film or games prize ceremonies because it needs time to implement the recommendations of a recent review.

The review found the non-competitive accolades, including the Bafta Fellowship and the award for outstanding British contribution to cinema, are a “vital way” of celebrating talent – but said the way recipients are chosen should be reconsidered.

Special awards will still be given out at the academy’s television awards ceremony in May.

It comes after Bafta suspended the outstanding British contribution to cinema award given to Noel Clarke last year “in light of the allegations of serious misconduct” against the actor and producer. It also suspended his membership.

BAFTA Film Awards 2017 – Arrivals – London
Noel Clarke ‘vehemently’ denied allegations of sexual misconduct and criminal behaviour but apologised ‘deeply’ for his actions and said he would be seeking professional help (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The actor was handed the award shortly before The Guardian newspaper published the claims, which were made by women who knew him in a professional capacity.

Clarke previously said he “vehemently” denies allegations of sexual misconduct or criminal behaviour but said he would be seeking professional help and apologised “deeply” for his actions.

In light of The Guardian’s report, Bafta said in a letter to its members it was not aware of the allegations before announcing Clarke would be given the award, and it was in the following days they received anonymous emails about the claims from second or third-hand sources.

In a new statement on Monday announcing the changes to the honorary prizes, Bafta said it has “undertaken a lengthy, thoughtful and thorough review of its special awards including extensive industry consultation”.

It said: “This concluded that these awards remain a vital way to celebrate excellence and inspire future generations of talent across film, games and television and we look forward to honouring exceptional contributions to these industries in the future.

“Due to the time needed to properly implement the recommendations of this review, these non-competitive awards, including the Fellowship, will not be part of this year’s film awards or games awards ceremonies in 2022, but we intend to present special awards at our television awards ceremony in May.”

As part of its overhaul, Bafta will refresh what the awards celebrate and represent. It will also urge its members to be more involved in suggesting candidates for consideration.

It also plans to expand the selection and vetting processes for awards through the introduction of a new Selection Co-ordinating Committee (SCC).

The SCC will oversee a longlist of potential recipients and be made up of representatives from relevant committees and members of the academy to ensure diversity.

TV presenter AJ Odudu and comedian Tom Allen will do interviews on the red carpet (Bafta/Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi/Aemen Sukkar/PA)
TV presenter AJ Odudu and comedian Tom Allen will do interviews on the red carpet (Bafta/Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi/Aemen Sukkar/PA)

TV presenter AJ Odudu and comedian Tom Allen will man the red carpet of the upcoming film awards, which are due to be held at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Sunday March 13.

The pair will interview nominees and other special guests as they arrive for the ceremony, with coverage streamed live across Bafta’s social media channels.

The duo have also been tasked with announcing this year’s nominations on Thursday February 3, live from the Bafta headquarters in Piccadilly.

Actress Rebel Wilson will be the main host of the 75th edition of the awards.