Sir Trevor McDonald to become Bafta fellow
Sir Trevor McDonald will be given the Academy Fellowship at the TV Baftas for his "outstanding and exceptional contribution" to the medium.
The 71-year-old, who follows in the footsteps of Lord Bragg and Sir David Jason, said he was honoured by the "magnificent surprise".
Trinidad-born Sir Trevor, for many years the face of ITV News, will get the award at Sunday's Baftas in London.
He has interviewed figures including Nelson Mandela and Saddam Hussein.
Bafta's TV committee chairman John Willis said no journalist or presenter was "better loved and respected by the audience than Sir Trevor McDonald".
"His authority and humanity has shone through all his work.
"He is a very worthy recipient of the fellowship because, for many years, he has been simply the best."
Sir Trevor, chiefly associated with fronting the News at Ten, recently presented ITV's Secret Caribbean and Secret Mediterranean programmes and will soon begin filming a documentary in the US for the channel.
E4 show Misfits leads the Baftas field this year with four nominations, including for best drama series.
For best actor, Doctor Who's Matt Smith goes up against Benedict Cumberbatch for Sherlock, Daniel Rigby for Eric and Ernie, and two-time Bafta winner Jim Broadbent for Any Human Heart
The TV Baftas, which take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel, will be shown on BBC One on Sunday at 2000 BST.