The actor and host of the ceremony is grieving his wife, the dialect coach Joan Washington, who died in September 2021.
Grant had been married to Washington for 35 years and they were together for a total of 38. She died eight months after being diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.
Speaking at the ceremony at London’s Royal Festival Hall, Grant told the star-studded crowd: “Let’s take this opportunity to pay tribute to those members of the film community that were sadly lost over the past 12 months.”
Choking up and blinking back tears, he apologised, before continuing: “Their impact lives on in film. Let’s take a moment to remember them now.”
The segment honoured late film icons from Grease’s Olivia Newton John and Harry Potter’s Robbie Coltrane to Triangle of Sadness’s Charlbi Dean and The Godfather’s James Caan.
Earlier in the night, Grant cracked a joke about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars.
Carey Mulligan was also incorrectly announced as the winner of the Best Supporting Actress Award.