Kevin Hart says 2019 Oscar host job is 'opportunity of a lifetime'

US actor-comedian Kevin Hart will host next year's Oscar ceremony on Feb 24 for the first time, he said in an Instagram post on Tuesday. He wrote: "I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars."

Hart, 39, follows talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, who took on the gig this year and last year.

"I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time," he continued, calling the job "the opportunity of a lifetime".

The job is prestigious but also toughas hosts have to navigate the expectations of the A-list audience in the theatre and millions tuning in on TV, withtopical and insider jokes.

Hart is one of just a handful of black Oscar hosts over the past 90 years. His selection comes at a time when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organises the Oscars, is under pressure to increase diversity among its own membership, and among the films and performers nominated for Oscars. - REUTERS