Michael J Fox praised for appearing at the Baftas: 'What an absolute hero that man is'

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18: Michael J Fox presents the Best Film Award on stage during the EE BAFTA Film Awards 2024 at The Royal Festival Hall on February 18, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Kate Green/BAFTA/Getty Images for BAFTA)
Michael J Fox presents the Best Film Award on stage during the EE BAFTA Film Awards 2024. (Kate Green/BAFTA/Getty Images) (Kate Green/BAFTA via Getty Images)

What Did You Miss?

The EE Bafta Film Awards welcomed Michael J Fox to the podium to present the Best Film award last night, which viewers were delighted by.

Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 33 years ago, the retired Back to the Future actor was wheeled onto the stage by an assistant before standing up to address the glitzy crowd. As Fox's surprise cameo aired on BBC One — resulting in yet another victory for Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer, its seventh of the ceremony — film fans were overcome with emotion on social platform X.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18: Michael J. Fox and David Beckham backstage during the EE BAFTA Film Awards 2024 at The Royal Festival Hall on February 18, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Carlo Paloni/BAFTA via Getty Images)
David Beckham meets the Back to the Future legend backstage. (Carlo Paloni/BAFTA via Getty Images) (Carlo Paloni via Getty Images)

What, how and why?

Due to his ill health, Fox rarely makes public appearances, so it was no shock to see the whole of Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall on its feet to applaud his appearance at the ceremony, including Saltburn star Barry Keoghan and Barbie's Ryan Gosling.

"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," he said before announcing the Best Film Award nominees. They were Oppenheimer, Poor Things, The Holdovers, Anatomy of a Fall, and Killers of the Flower Moon.

Fox then confirmed that it was Oppenheimer that had taken the prize, and he remained onstage when the film's team accepted the award and gave their speech.

L to R: Benny Safdie is Edward Teller and Cillian Murphy is J. Robert Oppenheimer in OPPENHEIMER, written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. (Universal)
Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer won the Best Film Award. (Universal) (Melinda Sue Gordon)

How did Baftas viewers respond on social media?

It was a case of universal love for the 62-year-old, who founded the Michael J Fox Foundation in 2000 to help fund Parkinson's research.

"What an icon and inspiration Michael J Fox is. Nobody quite like it and so deserving of that standing ovation #BAFTAs" and "Michael J Fox is an incredibly brave man and a beautiful soul. Seeing him present the final award at the #BAFTAs was testament to his resilience and courage... and to the enduring power of film and acting," read just two of the reactions.

Another person wrote: "All those stars in the room, and still the biggest and most affectionate reaction is for Michael J Fox, because the man is a legend."

While one wrote: "Michael J. Fox deserves his ovation at the BAFTAs. He has battled Parkinson's disease since 1991 and raised awareness and huge amounts of money for this horrendous disease. My own family has been affected by Parkinson’s so hats off to Michael J. Fox."

Read more:

Watch: Michael J Fox receives standing ovation as he presents Baftas 2024 award

This article originally appeared on Yahoo TV UK at https://uk.news.yahoo.com/michael-j-fox-baftas-appearance-231300663.html