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19th Feb 2024

Michael J Fox leaves viewers in tears with surprise BAFTA awards appearance

Charlie Herbert

Michael J Fox

Fox received a standing ovation as he arrived on stage

Michael J Fox had viewers in tears after he made a surprise appearance at the BAFTA awards, in London, on Sunday.

The Back To The Future star is living with Parkinson’s disease and has rarely made public appearances since his diagnosis in the 1990s.

However made an emotional appearance at the prestigious awards on Sunday to present the biggest prize of the night, Best Film.

Introduced by host David Tennant as a “true legend of cinema,” the 62-year-old arrived on stage in a wheelchair to a standing ovation.

But he insisted on standing up at the podium as he announced that Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer had won the award.

‘Movies are magic’ – Michael J Fox

Announcing the nominees, Michael J Fox said that cinema is “magic” which can change your life. He said:

“Five films were nominated in this category tonight and all five have something in common. They are the best of what we do.”

Fox added: “There’s a reason why they say movies are magic because movies can change your day. It can change your outlook. Sometimes it can change your life.”

Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of just 29, and since then has used his platform to raise awareness of the neurological condition.

He founded the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2000, which has raised more than $1.5bn according to CBS News.

Parkinson’s affects more than 180,000 people in Ireland and the UK, and Parkinson’s UK describes it as “the fastest growing neurological condition in the world”.

Viewers at home said they were in “floods of tears” as they watched on from home.

One person wrote on X: “What an unbelievably moving ovation for Michael J Fox. Not going to lie, a very tough watch.”

Another said: Seeing Michael J. Fox on stage at the BAFTA Awards has had me in floods of tears after my dad sadly lost his battle with Parkinson’s. Michael you are a legend! Thank you”

A third penned: “It’s gotta be said, at 11 years old he was my movie hero. I’m nearly 50 and after seeing him at the BAFTA’s tonight. He’s every bit the hero I remember him to be. What a legend!”

“All those stars in the room, and still the biggest and most affectionate reaction is for Michael J Fox, because the man is a legend,” wrote Declan Cashin.

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