The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) will present Terry Gilliam with the Academy Fellowship at the Orange British Academy Film Awards ceremony at London's Royal Opera House on February 8.

Awarded annually the Fellowship is BAFTA's highest accolade given to an individual, in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film.

Previously honoured Fellows include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Julie Christie, John Barry, Stanley Kubrick Judi Dench and Anthony Hopkins.

In a career spanning five decades, Terry has enjoyed BAFTA, Academy Award and Golden Globe success. Not only an acclaimed director, Terry has won praise for his screenwriting (Brazil).

In response to the Fellowship, Gilliam joked ' This is a great honour for someone who needs so many other people to do his job.'

Born in Minnesota, Terry graduated from Occidental college in Los Angeles before moving to New York to work with MAD Comics creator, Harvey Kurtzman.

After a time as assistant editor on Kurtzman's HELP! Magazine, Terry worked as a cartoonist, magazine illustrator, advertising copywriter and art director.

In 1969, Terry teamed up with Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin to form Monty Python's Flying Circus. In 1975, the group's first film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, marked Terry's feature length directorial debut; he co-directed with Terry Jones.

He has directed a diverse range of films including Time Bandits, The Fisher King, Twelve Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Brothers Grimm and Tideland.

His future projects include a return to The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.