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Last Updated: Friday, 15 October, 2004, 09:03 GMT 10:03 UK
Comic Chris Rock to host Oscars
Chris Rock
Rock hosted the MTV Video Music Awards last year
US comedian Chris Rock is to host the Oscars ceremony in February 2005, as the best of a "new generation" of talent, according to organisers.

Rock, 39, is best-known for his stand-up comedy TV specials plus films like Head of State, Bad Company and Dogma.

"He always makes me laugh and he always has something interesting to say," ceremony producer Gil Cates said.

Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and Steve Martin have dominated Oscars hosting duties for the last 15 years.

The performance of the Oscars host and their ability to make the ceremony amusing and lively is always highly scrutinised.

Comedy awards

David Letterman is the only person to present the show since 1989 apart from Crystal, Goldberg and Martin - but his 1995 turn was widely panned and he was not invited back.

Rock rose to fame in Beverly Hills Cop II in 1987 before spending three years on US comedy TV show Saturday Night Live.

He has won three Emmy Awards for his TV shows and two Grammys for his comedy albums. He also hosted the MTV Video Music Awards last year.

This year's Academy Awards nominations will be revealed on 25 January, followed by the Hollywood ceremony on 27 February.

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