Ellen DeGeneres has been chosen to host next year’s Oscars.
The lesbian comedian will become the first out performer to host the 79th Annual Academy Awards, scheduled to take place in February 2007.
It will even be the first time she attends the awards ceremony, although she has hosted the Emmys and the Grammys twice.
“Ellen DeGeneres was born to host the Academy Awards,” said telecast producer Laura Ziskin in a statement. “I can already tell she is going to set the bar very high for herself and therefore for all of us involved in putting on the show. Now all we need is a lot of great movies.”
Following in the footsteps of Billy Crystal, Jon Stewart and Whoopi Goldberg – the show’s only other female host – Ellen will suit up to entertain Hollywood’s finest.
“There are two things I’ve always wanted to do in my life,” DeGeneres said. “One is to host the Oscars. The second is to get a call from Laura Ziskin. You can imagine that day’s diary entry.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ziskin has wanted DeGeneres to host the Oscars ever since she watched her host the 2001 Emmys in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
“That was the brilliant show Ellen did,” Ziskin said. DeGeneres earned kudos from the Hollywood community for the way she handled the show in a difficult time. “I always thought that if I ever produced the Oscars again, she’d be at the top of the list.”
The 79th Annual Academy Awards will be held at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles and broadcast live on ABC.
Gay cowboy movie BrokeBack Mountain won three Oscars at this years ceremony including best music score, best director and best adapted screenplay (from the book by Annie Proulx.)