February 22, 2010 - 12:18 GMT hellomagazine.com The down-to-earth royal ignored the cold conditions to have his photo taken with his many female admirers as he made his debut at the annual awards event List of Bafta winners. With so many stars gathering at London's Royal Opera House, fans lining the red carpet at the Baftas were spoilt for choice as a who's who of famous faces made their arrival. But it was not a leading lady or indeed a silver screen hunk who received the biggest cheer on the night – that honour went to none other than Prince William. The down-to-earth royal ignored the cold conditions to have his photo taken with his many female admirers as he made his debut at the annual awards event. He was in attendance as part of his new role as president of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. William, who was not accompanied by girlfriend Kate Middleton to the event, has taken over the position from Lord Richard Attenborough after the 86-year-old personally invited the prince to take on the presidency. And for his first official act, the Queen's grandson presented actress Vanessa Redgrave with an Academy fellowship for "outstanding and exceptional" contribution to film. Addressing the audience before the ceremony got underway, "honoured" William joked that his predecessor had warned him to "keep this brief" or else Wrestler star Mickey Rourke – also at the awards – "might wrestle me off stage." Later in proceedings, the prince re-appeared with Hollywood beauty Uma Thurman to honour the 73-year-old actress. Vanessa - accompanied by daughter Joely Richardson - received a standing ovation as she made her way to the stage to accept the trophy, and appeared close to tears. Curtsying before William, the acclaimed actress said: Your Royal Highness, my dear, beautiful Uma, my dear Bafta friends and colleagues, yes you've done me in, you have absolutely done me in." Then, turning to the royal, she paid tribute to Prince Charles saying: "I would like to say, your royal highness, how much I admire your father for his intelligence, humility and kindness." Vanessa, whose younger daughter Natasha Richardson tragically died after a skiing accident last year, has had a successful film career spanning six decades. She follows in the footsteps of the fellowship's previous recipients, including Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Dame Judi Dench.