Ellen DeGeneres to host the Oscar Awards next year

MUMBAI: American television personality Ellen Degeneres will host the most prestigious event in Hollywood, the79th Annual Academy Awards or the Oscars as it is known. The award giving function will be held in Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on 25 February next year.

This marks the fourth presenter in as many years for the show. In India the show will air on Star Movies while in the US it will air on ABC.

The Association of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Ampas) has been desparately trying to appeal to a younger demographic. The three previous hosts were Steve Martin, Chris Rock and Jon Stewart. The feeling in some quarters though is that in a Tivo environment a lot of viewers do not want to spend over three hours watching a show.

DeGeneres is the host of the syndicated talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which this year won its third Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show and earned DeGeneres her second Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host.

The announcement of DeGeneres as the host was made by producer Laura Ziskin. DeGeneres says, "When Laura Ziskin called, I was thrilled. There are two things I have always wanted to do in my life. One is to host the Oscars. The second is to get a call from Laura Ziskin. You can imagine that days diary entry."

DeGeneres has twice hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards telecast, and co-hosted the show in 1994. For her first solo Emmy stint, which took place shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, she received high praise.

Ampas president Sid Ganis says, "She just sparkles. She is such a pleasure to watch. Her wit cuts to the truth of things, but in a wonderfully warm-spirited way. I think she'll be a fantastic host for this show and we're extremely pleased that she's agreed to do it."

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