Ellen DeGeneres nabs Oscar hosting job

Going where Jon Stewart, Chris Rock, Whoopi Goldberg and others have gone before

Looks like Jon Stewart didn’t exactly earn the respect of the people responsible for the Oscars – despite a solid opening montage and some good gags (anyone who points out the injustice of Scorsese’s Oscar-free existence is all right by us) at last year’s ceremony, opinions were mixed and ratings were low. So he’s been replaced after only one go, and his successor has now been announced.

Comedian and current US talk show star Ellen DeGeneres will take on the hosting duties for the 79th year of the awards. Laura Ziskin, who is also returning to the Oscars – but as producer - explained that she picked DeGeneres thanks to her impressive turn hosting the post 9/11 Emmy Awards. “I always thought that if I ever produced the Oscars again, and I wasn't sure I would, she'd be at the top of the list. She is a spectacular host - she does that now on a daily basis - and also a crackerjack entertainer. And you're always happy to see her - hopefully, viewers will be just as happy to see her two and three hours into the show.”

Ellen herself seems delighted to take on the job, which would make her only the second woman after Whoopi Goldberg to host the whole shebang by herself. “When Laura Ziskin called, I was thrilled. There's two things I've 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 day's diary entry. I've always wanted to host the show, ever since I hosted the Emmys. Obviously, it's a huge honour, although it's not always a great situation. If you do well, they don't talk about it, and if you don't do well, you're torn apart. But I like the challenge, and I'd like to put my stamp on it. In fact, I'm thinking of stretching it out even longer to two nights like Rock Star: Supernova.”