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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kevin Hart will be the host of the 2019 Academy Awards, fulfilling a lifelong dream for the actor-comedian.

Hart announced his selection for the 91st Oscars in an Instagram statement Tuesday. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences followed up with a tweet that welcomed him “to the family.”

 

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For years I have been asked if I would ever Host the Oscars and my answer was always the same…I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s suppose to. I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars. I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time….To be able to join the legendary list of host that have graced that stage is unbelievable. I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now. I want to thank my family/friends/fans for supporting me & riding with me all this time….I will be sure to make this years Oscars a special one. I appreciate the @TheAcademy for the opportunity ….now it’s time to rise to the occasion #Oscars

A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on

The announcement came hours after trade publication The Hollywood Reporter posted a story calling the Oscars host position “the least wanted job in Hollywood.”

Hart clearly doesn’t feel that way, writing on Instagram that it has been on his list of dream jobs for years. The 2019 Oscars will be broadcast Feb. 24 on ABC.

“I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time…To be able to join the legendary list of host that have graced this stage is unbelievable,” Hart wrote. “I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now.”

Hart takes over hosting duties from Jimmy Kimmel, who presided over the last two ceremonies, including 2016’s best picture flub that resulted in the wrong best picture winner being announced. Last year’s ceremony was an all-time ratings low, and the film academy has announced a series of changes to the upcoming show.

Those include shortening the broadcast to three hours, and also presenting certain categories during commercial breaks and broadcasting excerpts of those winners’ speeches later in the show.

The 39-year-old has become a bankable star with films such as “Ride Along,” ”Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and “Night School.”

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