After losing Eddie Murphy as host of the upcoming 84th Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has announced that Billy Crystal will return to host the show.
Murphy announced he was off the telecast soon after the departure of producer Brett Ratner amid a controversy over an anti-gay slur, as previously reported.
Ratner was replaced by Brian Grazer, who will co-produce the broadcast with Don Mischer.
Said Mischer: “With Billy, we’re moving forward with one of the greatest hosts in Oscar history. His return to the Oscars is, in a sense, a celebration.”
Crystal will be hosting the Oscars for the ninth time — second all time to Bob Hope, who hosted 19 times between 1940 and 1978.
Crystal, whose last turn as host was in 2004, confirmed the assignment, saying: “Some of the best moments of my career have happened on the Oscar stage. I am thrilled to be back there. Actually, I am doing this so that the young woman in my pharmacy will stop asking me my name when I pick up my prescriptions.”
The ceremony is set for Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, to be broadcast live on ABC.