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Comedian Kevin Hart to host 2019 Oscars

Comedian Kevin Hart to host 2019 Oscars.jpg

Kevin Hart (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Comedian Kevin Hart will host the next Academy Awards ceremony in February 2019.

"I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars," Hart wrote in an Instagram post.

Hart, 39, who also starred in the 2017 film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle follows talk show host Jimmy Kimmel who hosted the widely-viewed ceremony in 2018 and 2017.

"I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time," Hart wrote on his Instagram page.

View this post on Instagram

For years I have been asked if I would ever Host the Oscars and my answer was always the same...I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s suppose to. I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars. I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time....To be able to join the legendary list of host that have graced that stage is unbelievable. I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now. I want to thank my family/friends/fans for supporting me & riding with me all this time....I will be sure to make this years Oscars a special one. I appreciate the @TheAcademy for the opportunity ....now it’s time to rise to the occasion #Oscars

A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on

The job of hosting the Oscars is one of the most prestigious but also the most difficult in show business as hosts have to navigate the expectations of the A-list audience in the theatre and millions tuning in on television, with a combination of topical and insider jokes.

Hart, who is African-American, is one of just a handful of black Oscar hosts over the past 90 years, including Chris Rock, Whoopi Goldberg and Sammy Davis Jr.

His selection comes at a time when the Academy is under scrutiny for increasing diversity among its own membership, and among the films and performers nominated for Oscars.

Oscar nominations will be announced on January 22, with the televised ceremony taking place live in Hollywood on February 24.

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