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Gromit's creator gets animated over Bafta

Nick Park, the triple-Oscar-winning animator, last night accused organisers of Britain's top film and theatre awards of belittling his work by excluding animation from their main ceremony.

The creator of Wallace and Gromit appealed to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) to reinstate the animation categories in the event, to be held next week. Bafta justified its decision on grounds that television companies had asked it "to cut down on the number of awards made at the main ceremony".

Park's plea came at the less glamorous Bafta craft awards, held at the Hilton Hotel, London, where technicians were honoured for their skills. Emphasising that British animation had undergone a renaissance, he suggested to Bafta that animators had been sidelined by their exclusion from the main ceremony. "We... have become the little people," he said.

Last night a Bafta spokesman said that there would be a special award ceremony on 26 April to mark achievements in animation.

Park, whose films Creature Comforts, The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave have been huge successes, made his appeal as he collected the television award for originality.

"I know we are not good-looking or glamorous, but what we really enjoy is being with good-looking and glamorous people. So if you could do something about it that would be wonderful."