Ricky Gervais will host next year's Golden Globe Awards.
The British funnyman was confirmed by the Hollywood ForeignPress Association (HFPA) as fronting their annual ceremony for thethird year in a row following weeks of speculation.
The event's website stated: "After weeks of rumours it's finallyofficial - Ricky Gervais will be back to host the Golden Globes fora third year.
"The Hollywood Foreign Press Association voted for thecontroversial British comedian's return after meeting with NBCofficial Doug Vaughn."
It was claimed yesterday that the HFPA were divided over whetherto invite Gervais back to host again after he sparked controversyfor his put-downs and jokes at the expense of some of the filmindustry's biggest names - including Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp- in the past two years of presenting the awards.
Many members were said to be angry that network NBC, which hoststhe show, is putting pressure on the Association to force them toaccept him back.
A source said: "NBC has put the HFPA in a lose-lose situation.If the Hollywood Foreign Press says yes to Ricky, it risks turningthe Globes into 'The Ricky Gervais Show' and leaving the impressionthat they're annually throwing a great party while inviting someonewho humiliates all of the guests.
"If it says no, the HFPA looks like it has no sense of humourabout itself."
However, there are some members of the HFPA who believe sinceRicky's stint as host, viewership has risen and more people areexcited about the awards, which take place in January.
The source added: "There are those who feel that ratings andrevenue are what the HFPA need to focus on most. Of course that'sall NBC is interested. The other faction believes that withoutRicky, you may lose a little viewership but wind up betterprotecting the brand."
The Golden Globes will be held on January 15 at the BeverlyHilton Hotel.
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