Jonathan Ross to host BAFTA awards

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The Independent Online

Controversial presenter Jonathan Ross extends his broadcast rehabilitation next month when he presents the BAFTA film awards, organisers said today.

The high-profile event - closely watched ahead of the Oscars in late February - will be shown live on BBC television.

It will come two weeks after Ross returns to screens following his suspension without pay from the BBC for his participation in obscene prank calls made to actor Andrew Sachs.

The BBC's supervisory body said the calls to the "Fawlty Towers" star were "so grossly offensive" they should never have been broadcast.

Ross had backed out of presenting ITV's 2008 British Comedy Awards in October following a public outcry over the stunt.

The BAFTA event at the Royal Opera House in London on Feb. 8 will be the third time Ross has presented the British film awards.

Nominations for BAFTA honours will be announced on Thursday, with expectations high for British director Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire" after it collected four prizes at America's Golden Globe awards.

Ross makes his television return after his 12-week suspension on Jan. 23 when Tom Cruise and Stephen Fry will be among the guests on his Friday night chat show.