x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Eddie Murphy gets the Academy's vote

The actor and comedian has been chosen as the host for the Academy Awards show in February.

His past roles may have included a doctor who can talk to animals, an obese professor with an alter ego, a street savvy Detroit detective and a wisecracking donkey, but hosting the Oscars might just be Eddie Murphy's toughest gig yet.

Murphy, himself a former Oscar nominee (for Best Supporting Actor in Dreamgirls) is known for his comic talent. By choosing him as the sole lynch pin for the 84th awards ceremony, the Academy seem to be returning to a more traditional approach with their host selection. This marks a step away from last year's attempt to inject a sense of cool into proceedings and attract a younger audience, by appointing Anne Hathaway and James Franco as anchors. Their performance - which included a series of strained skits - was, for the most part, panned by critics, who among many other quibbles were quick to seize upon the lack of chemistry between the two young actors.

With Murphy they are no doubt hoping to return to the old school, golden era of Academy Award shows when veteran comics, well versed in standup, took to the floor with aplomb: think Steve Martin, Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg. Crystal was rumoured to be in the running to return to the role in 2012 and Jerry Seinfeld was also thought to be a contender, but the events co-producer Brett Ratner, who recently worked with Murphy on the soon to be released Tower Heist, is thought to have championed the actor from the start.