AAP Entertainment

Comedian Kevin Hart to host 2019 Oscars

By AAP Newswire

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.

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.