Ross still in line to host Baftas

The film Bafta awards face a diversion this year – their controversial host Jonathan Ross.

The film Bafta awards face a diversion this year – their controversial host Jonathan Ross.

While all eyes should be on the A-list winners tonight, there are concerns that they could be distracted by Ross’s presence, and more to the point what comes out of his mouth.

Ross returned to his job at the BBC last month, following his suspension over the lewd prank calls made to 'Fawlty Towers' actor Andrew Sachs which sparked a furore.

The BBC suspended Ross for 12 weeks without pay in October after he and fellow DJ Russell Brand left obscene messages on Sachs’s answerphone, which were broadcast on Radio 2.

The two presenters said Brand had slept with the actor’s granddaughter, Georgina Baillie, and joked that Sachs might kill himself.

Ross walked straight back into controversy on his radio show after his suspension was lifted, by joking about having sex with an elderly woman.

The BBC insisted there was no link to any specific individual and that the joke was part of a light-hearted exchange.

A BBC spokesman said previously: “Regular listeners will be familiar with Jonathan’s irreverence and innuendo.”

The talk show host has already used his page on the social networking website Twitter to invite public suggestions for an unlikely word he could incorporate into his Bafta routine.

He wrote: “Thanks for Bafta suggestions. Will whittle them down to a top three then slip one in.”

But Bafta chairman David Parfitt has said that his only concern over Ross hosting the film awards was that his BBC suspension would be lifted in time.

Mr Parfitt said that no extra precautions were being taken over Ross fronting the Orange British Academy Film Awards ceremony and the scriptwriters and filming would remain the same.

Mr Parfitt said previously: “I think what people don’t realise is there are different Jonathans ... he loves film and he is really serious about film.”

Asked if he was worried about Ross fronting the show, he said: “Not at all. The decision for Jonathan to do the show was taken after last year’s awards.

“The only concern I had was that the suspension would be over in time (for him) to do it ... we’re not doing it any differently.”

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