The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) is to return to its pre-Oscar slot for its film awards next year, subject to some routine consultations.
Bafta has scheduled next year's awards for Sunday February 24, aiming to repeat this year's success when the ceremony moved from April. The repositioning is credited with raising the awards' international profile as an international stopover on the Oscar trail.
"We did it on an experimental basis last year, but it was so successful that it would be quite perverse to go back," said Bafta chairman Simon Relph. He added there is still some industry consultation to be done before next year's date is cast in stone, but that "we have strong enough indications from enough sources to plan it for the same time next year".
This year's awards attracted a strong Hollywood star presence, including Tom Hanks and Russell Crowe, although a hoped-for visit from Julia Roberts failed to materialise. Bafta is understood to be actively seeking a TV deal in the US for the awards show, which is broadcast live on satellite channel BSkyB in the UK and screens one evening later on terrestrial TV.
While Billy Elliot's raft of prizes ensured this year's Bafta's had a British touch, the event managed to predict the Oscar best picture winner, Gladiator.