Page last updated at 07:51 GMT, Friday, 17 October 2008 08:51 UK

Gervais wary of presenting Oscars

By Fiona Pryor
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Ricky Gervais
Ricky Gervais is about to release his first Hollywood film in the UK

Comedian and actor Ricky Gervais has revealed he would be reluctant to host the Oscars because of the lack of "freedom" in the presenting role.

The 47-year-old said his US agent had been approached about the job, along with a list of many other names.

The star told BBC News he would be "scared" to do it because "I don't think I'd get the freedom I needed".

He added: "If it was a fun night and they said you could ad-lib, I'd do it because I really enjoy that."


When asked if he would seriously consider the role he said: "Probably not, or maybe I would, but I'd be scared that it would be arbitrary."

I still want to be invited. I want the invite to turn it down
Ricky Gervais

The star, who is about to appear in his first Hollywood lead role in movie Ghost Town, said he has also turned down film roles if he felt they were not right.

"The reason I turn down films is because they're arbitrary or I thought I couldn't have enough sway or power."

The actor revealed he believed Jerry Seinfeld had turned down the job when he was asked to do it on a previous occasion.

Gervais claimed the US comedian had not accepted the role because "no-one's there to hear jokes, they're there to see if they've won an Oscar".

Ghost Town movie poster
Ghost Town is Gervais's first Hollywood lead role

Gervais added that hosting the Academy Awards ceremony for that reason would be a "thankless task".

Despite that, he admitted he is "flattered" to be considered.

Likening the job to a party invitation, he said: "I still want to be invited. I want the invite to turn it down."

But The Office star has not completely ruled out accepting the presenting role.

"It's one I'd certainly think about," he said.

Jon Stewart presented the ceremony in February and Ellen DeGeneres hosted the awards show in 2007.

Ghost Town boosts Gervais profile
22 Sep 08 |  Entertainment
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15 Oct 08 |  Entertainment
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14 Jan 08 |  Entertainment

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