Awards ceremony will be first major hosting engagement for star of Doctor Who, Good Omens and Broadchurch

David Tennant has been named as the new host of the Baftas in his first high-profile hosting engagement.

The actor, best known for his work on the TV series Doctor Who, Good Omens and Broadchurch, will take the stage at the Royal Festival Hall for the ceremony on 18 February.

After lengthy stints by Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross, the film awards of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts have been hosted by a variety of presenters over the past six years, including Joanna Lumley, Rebel Wilson and, last year, Richard E Grant.

Tennant said he was “delighted … to help celebrate the very best of this year’s films and the many brilliant people who bring them to life”.

Jane Millichip, the chief executive of Bafta, said the organisation was “over the moon” at Tennant’s appointment. “He is deservedly beloved by British and international audiences alike. His warmth, charm and mischievous wit will make it a must-watch show.”

The nominations for the 77th annual awards are due to be announced on 18 January, while the longlists will be released at noon on 5 January.

Following the #BaftasSoWhite controversy of 2020, when none of the acting nominees was a person of colour, the organisation has undergone an extensive backstage overhaul, with numerous inclusivity drives and efforts to increase the diversity of its voting pool, which now comprises 7,500 members.

The Baftas are the penultimate major awards event of the season. The Oscars follow on 10 March, while the Golden Globes take place this Sunday.

Bafta shortlists are expected to be dominated by the big box office players of last year, Barbie and Oppenheimer, but space is also expected to be made for homegrown successes such as Rye Lane, Saltburn and All of Us Strangers.