Martin and Baldwin to co-host Oscars

Hollywood veterans Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin are to share hosting duties at the 82nd Academy Awards.

Hollywood veterans Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin are to share hosting duties at the 82nd Academy Awards.

Telecast producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman said Martin and Baldwin were “the perfect pair of hosts for the Oscars”.

The producers have said they hope to resurrect the ceremony’s ratings and make the show more fun by building on the changes introduced at February’s ceremony, which tinkered with the way awards were presented and featured Broadway-style musical interludes.

Bringing in a pair of hosts, while not unprecedented, continues the theme of change.

“Very early on, we talked about a pairing as part of our concept of the show, having tradition and also freshness walking hand in hand,” said Mr Shankman.

“Steve anchors it in so much tradition and Alec ... besides being a former Oscar nominee, he is just hot, hot, hot right now. And the two of them I know adore each other.”

A pair of hosts were at the helm for the inaugural Oscar ceremony in 1929: Douglas Fairbanks and William DeMille, then president and vice president of the film academy, co-hosted the show. The last time multiple hosts graced the Oscar stage was in 1987, when Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn and Paul Hogan shared the duties.

Hugh Jackman sang and danced as host of last year’s Academy Awards, which saw a ratings boost from the previous year.

Mr Mechanic said splitting hosting duties between the pair took “a little starch out of the shirts, so to speak”.

Martin has hosted the show twice before, in 2001 and 2003, and has appeared as an award presenter several times. Baldwin is a first-timer as Oscar host, but was a co-presenter in 2004.

Baldwin, 51, called the Oscar gig “the opportunity of a lifetime”, while Martin said he is “happy to co-host the Oscars with my enemy Alec Baldwin.” The 64-year-old is currently on tour in support of his latest banjo album.

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