Ellen DeGeneres to host Oscars in 2014

This will be second time hosting for the daytime talkshow star who will follow on from Seth MacFarlane's savaged 2013 stint

The comedian Ellen DeGeneres announced on Friday that she is to return as host of the Academy Awards, the second time she has been tasked with saving the Oscars a year after a poorly received performer.

For the 2014 show, she follows a heavily criticised performance this year by the Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. In 2007, she put the Oscars back on an even keel after poor reviews for the satirist Jon Stewart in 2006.

"I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time. You know what they say – the third time's the charm," DeGeneres said in a statement.

She is a safe bet for the Academy, following an outraged reaction to the misogynistic jokes that peppered MacFarlane's script. While MacFarlane's performance generated high ratings for the broadcast – 40.3 million people watched, 2% higher than the year before – he said he would not host the Oscars again because of the negative response.

DeGeneres however, has a history of well-received hosting gigs. She was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for her performance as Oscars host in 2007. She also garnered positive responses as a two-time Emmy Awards host, carrying the ceremony shortly after 9/11 and then after Hurricane Katrina. Her previous Oscar gig, in which Martin Scorsese's The Departed took home the top prize, was watched by 39.9 million people.

Ten years after the launch of her talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, she is still receiving good ratings, and the program has been renewed through 2017.

DeGeneres made the announcement on Twitter on Friday and said: "It's official: I'm hosting the #Oscars! I'd like to thank @TheAcademy, my wife Portia and, oh dear, there goes the orchestra."

It's official: I'm hosting the #Oscars! I'd like to thank @TheAcademy, my wife Portia and, oh dear, there goes the orchestra.

— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 2, 2013

Academy Award producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said in a statement: "We are thrilled to have Ellen DeGeneres host the Oscars. As a longtime friend, we had always hoped to find a project for us to do together and nothing could be more exciting than teaming up to do the Oscars.

"There are few stars today who have Ellen's gift for comedy, with her great warmth and humanity. She is beloved everywhere and we expect the audience at the Dolby Theater, and in homes around the globe, will be as excited by this news as we are."

The 86th Academy Awards are scheduled to air on 2 March, 2014.


Amanda Holpuch in New York

The GuardianTramp

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