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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 September 2007, 17:01 GMT 18:01 UK
Jon Stewart returns as Oscar host
Jon Stewart
The 2006 show received a lukewarm reception
US comedian Jon Stewart is to host the Oscars ceremony for the second time, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has announced.

The 44-year-old received mixed reviews when he last presented Hollywood's top awards show in 2006, but organisers today called him a "terrific host".

"He is smart, quick, funny, and loves movies," said producer Gil Cates. "What else could one ask for?"

The 80th Academy Awards take place in Hollywood on 24 February, 2008.

Stewart was replaced by Ellen DeGeneres for this year's ceremony.

But, with the US presidential election set for November 2008, producers may feel the political satirist is the natural choice for next year's show.

'Home run'

Some critics were not kind to Stewart's performance in 2006, suggesting he had failed to bring the edgy satire of his US TV show to the Oscars.

Tom Shales, of the Washington Post, homed in on the comedian's "smug humorlessness", labelling him "a sad and pale shadow of great hosts gone by".

But film critics Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper raved about Stewart's performance, with Ebert calling it a "home run".

"I'm thrilled to be asked to host the Academy Awards for the second time because, as they say, the third time's a charm," said Stewart on Wednesday.

The Emmy award-winning presenter has also appeared in several movies including horror film The Faculty, Death to Smoochy and Big Daddy.

Stewart follows a long line of stand-up comedians who have hosted the Oscars, including Bob Hope, Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is broadcast by Comedy Central in the US and in the UK on digital channel More4.

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