Richard Ayoade back as TV Bafta host: ‘I’ll pretend I’m thrilled’

Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Richard Ayoade is returning as host of the TV Baftas.

The comedian, presenter and former star of The IT Crowd made his debut fronting the ceremony last year.

He will host a socially-distanced show, with a small number of presenters joining Ayoade, 43, in the studio or on video call, to announce winners.

Nominations will be unveiled later this month.

Ayoade quipped: “I have been asked if, this year, I could say I am thrilled to be back as ‘host’ and, reluctantly, I am willing to pretend that I am.

photographed here by Rankin, will be hosting the Bafta craft awards
Gbemisola Ikumelo, photographed here by Rankin, will be hosting the Bafta craft awards (Rankin/Bafta)

“They have assured me that as soon as the world returns to normal, they will get someone decent again.”

Famalam actress Gbemisola Ikumelo will host the British Academy Television Craft Awards for the first time.

Ikumelo, also a writer and director, scooped a Bafta for Brain in Gear at the 2020 TV awards.

She said: “I’m really excited to host this year’s British Academy Television Craft Awards and celebrate all the amazing behind the scenes individuals that quietly make our favourite TV shows what they are.”

Bafta chief executive Amanda Berry said: “We are delighted that Richard will be returning to host the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards.

“Richard hosted the Awards brilliantly last year and I really look forward to another year with him at the helm.

“Equally exciting is our new host for the Television Craft Awards, Gbemisola Ikumelo. We have seen Gbemisola’s wonderful work on our screens as an actor, writer and director in Famalam and also Brain in Gear, for which she won a Bafta last year.”

The Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards will be broadcast as-live on BBC One on the evening of Sunday June 6.

The British Academy Television Craft Awards will be streamed live on Bafta’s YouTube channel and via its Facebook page on Monday May 24.