BAFTA TV host Richard Ayoade – famous wife, celeb in-laws and career change

This weekend will see the return of the glitziest night in British TV, as the 67th British Academy Awards (commonly known as the BAFTAs) take place.

Popular shows such as Gogglebox, It's a Sin and Stath Lets Flats have been nominated, while big names including Graham Norton, Steve Coogan, Jodie Comer and Jessica Plummer will be hoping to scoop gongs.

The show will air from the magnificent Royal Festival Hall in London and will be the first BAFTA ceremony in three years to be attended by an in-person audience.

That will be good news for its host.

For the third straight year, comedian and writer Richard Ayoade will be presenting the glamourous show.

But things could have turned out oh so differently for the funnyman.

Here are some things you may not know about Richard.

Career change

Did you know that Richard could have so easily taken a different route and not ended up on our screens?

The 44-year-old attended St Catharine's College in Cambridge after growing up in the east of England, just outside Ipswich.

He finished up in the college in 1998 after three years of studying law.

However, it was an extracurricular activity which helped him launch his career.

Richard took a big interest in stage productions, and became president of the amateur drama club Footlights in the college (with his vice-president being John Oliver!)

Previous presidents of the group included David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Hugh Laurie and members of Monty Python.

Richard has since said that his degree was not a "fallback" for him, instead meaning he had to go back to "square one".

Famous connections through marriage

John Oliver wasn't the only future star that Richard was connected with in Cambridge.

He met actress Lydia Fox while studying there and has since married her.

Lydia studied at Newnham College at the University of Cambridge. One of her brothers is actor, musician and anti-vaxx campaigner Laurence Fox, while another is Cheaters actor Jack Fox.

She also has two famous cousins in Emilia and Freddie Fox.

The couple met at a performance where Lydia was in the audience and Richard onstage.

Though their relationship is kept quite private, the duo share three children and live in London.

BAFTA Success

Richard has a whole host of credits via acting, directing, writing and producing.

He's received two BAFTA nominations during his long career – one for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for his work on the movie Submarine.

The other resulted in his only BAFTA win so far: Best Male Comedy Performance in 2014 for his iconic role as Maurice Moss in the Channel 4 sitcom The IT Crowd.

However, after a number of successful hosting roles on the likes of Travel Man and The Crystal Maze, he was announced as the host of Britain's biggest TV and film awards show in 2020.

He was well-liked by viewers and peers, so much so that he retained the presenting role for the 2021 awards.

On Sunday, we'll see him complete his hat-trick of hosting – becoming the first man since Graham Norton to host three or more BAFTA ceremonies in a row.

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