The Bafta show host appears to have deleted his Twitter profile following controversial comments during Sunday night’s show.

Stephen Fry faced strong criticism after comparing costume designer Jenny Beavan to a “bag lady” when she picked up her Bafta for Mad Max.

After her acceptance speech and she had left the stage, Fry said: “Only one of the great cinematic costume designers would come to the awards dressed like a bag lady.”

Twitter users reacted strongly to the jibe, demanding Fry apologise for his comments over her clothes.

“Not sure what was worse, Stephen fry making that crass comment about Jenny Beaven or the audience laughing. Time for a new presenter,” wrote Sarah Housden.

“Oh Stephen Fry and your snidey, sneery bag lady comment. True colours?” added Michael Hogan.

However, Fry assured fellow Twitter users afterwards that Beavan was “a dear friend” who had “got” the joke.

The comedian and broadcaster attempted to prove the point by posting a photo of the pair at the Bafta after-party, before telling his critics they were “tragic people”.

“Jenny ‘Baglady’ Beavan and Stephen Outrageous Misogynist Swine Fry at the after party,” he wrote.

Despite his protestations, the criticism seemed to have forced Fry off Twitter, as it appeared he had removed himself from the site on Monday morning.

The reasons for Fry leaving Twitter are still unclear. This is not the first time the comedian has shut his profile before – or made threats to do so.

Last year, he left the social media site for four months without giving a reason.

He also pleaded for fans to stop sending him direct messages saying “it was impossible” for him to look at them if he wanted to have “anything close to a life.”

In 2014, Fry quit the site saying it was “unsafe” for him to tweet, adding he was filming “in a place whence I’ve been advised it is safest not to tweet”.

And back in 2009, he said he was going to leave after another user called his posts “boring”.