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Michael J Fox given standing ovation after surprise appearance at Bafta awards

Canadian-American actor Michael J Fox received a standing ovation after making a surprise appearance at the EE Bafta film awards.

The Back To The Future film series star was described as a “true legend of cinema” by David Tennant, who introduced Fox on to the stage at the Royal Festival Hall in London.

Fox presented the best film award which was won by Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer.

He was greeted with a standing ovation and cheers from the audience as he came on stage in a wheelchair but stood at the podium.

The 89th Academy Awards – Arrivals – Los Angeles
Michael J Fox arriving at the 89th Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA (Ian West/PA)

The 62-year-old activist and former Hollywood actor – who was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease a year after Back To The Future Part III was released in 1990 – described films as “magic” which can “change your life”.

Presenting the prize, he said: “Five films were nominated in this category tonight and all five have something in common. They are the best of what we do.

“No matter who you are or where you’re from, these films can bring us together.

“There’s a reason why they say movies are magic because movies can change your day.

“It can change your outlook. Sometimes it can change your life.”

Fox founded the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2000, which has raised more than two billion dollars (£1.58 billion), CBS News reported in November.

He was honoured at the Governors Awards in 2022 with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an honorary Oscar recognising outstanding philanthropic efforts.