Actor Billy Crystal speaks onstage

Billy Crystal to Host the Oscars

12 Nov 2011

Announcement made after Eddie Murphy quit last week

Billy Crystal has been confirmed as the new host of the
2012 Oscars following Eddie Murphy’s decision to step down.

The When Harry Met Sally star, who has hosted the Oscars
eight times, emerged as the popular choice to replace Eddie hours after the
Dreamgirls star announced his resignation on Wednesday (9 November).

It took Brian Grazer, the new Oscars producer, just 24
hours to sign Billy up for his first Academy Awards hosting gig since 2003.

In a tweet on Thursday (10 November), Billy joked, “I’m
doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name
when I pick up my prescriptions. Looking forward to the show.”

The funnyman was expected to be named the host of the
84th Oscars after making an appearance on the 2011 telecast to present a
tribute to Bob Hope.

Earlier this year, Billy told reporters he felt “itchy” after
his Academy Awards cameo and he would be prepared to consider a return to the
Oscars stage as host. He said, “It’s always fun. It’s really hard, but maybe
one or two more times... They know where I am.”

Officially announcing the news on Thursday afternoon (10 November)
in Los Angeles, the City Slickers star said, “Some of the best moments of my
career have happened on the Oscar stage. I am thrilled to be back there.”

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Tom
Sherak is thrilled to welcome Crystal back to the Oscars: “He’s a comic legend
and Oscar icon, and it feels good to have him back where he belongs.”

Brian, who replaced Brett Ratner as the co-producer of the
Academy Awards on Wednesday (9 November), adds, “Like so many others, I’ve been
eager to see Billy host again.”

The Oscars will take place on 26 February (2012).