Ellen hosting Oscars
Organisers of the Academy Awards, which will take place on February 25th in Hollywood, said yesterday that the star "was born" for the role.
DeGeneres, 48, is no stranger to hosting awards ceremonies, having overseen television's Emmy Awards in both 2004 and in 2001, when she received critical acclaim for her treatment of the September 11th terror attacks, which occurred shortly before the ceremony.
The comedian, who shot to fame in the 1990s sitcom Ellen, in which her character came out as a lesbian, has since enjoyed further professional success with the Ellen DeGeneres Show, with the talk show having collected 15 Emmys during the four years it has been on air.
Announcing that DeGeneres had been chosen to host the 79th annual Academy Awards, Oscars telecast producer Laura Ziskin said: "There is no more challenging hosting job in show business."
"It requires someone who can keep the show alive and fresh and moving, as well as someone who is a flat-out great entertainer. Ellen completely fits the bill," she added.
DeGeneres said she was "thrilled" to have been chosen for the high-profile role.
"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," joked the star in a statement.