The rumours started over the weekend that the wildly popular, albeit perhaps slightly in years gone by, Eddie Murphy would be hosting the Oscars next year, taking over from James Franco and Anne Hathaway’s turn back at the end of February this year.

Deadline are now reporting that Murphy has officially agreed to take the hosting duties for the 84th Academy Awards next year, to be held on Sunday, 26th February, 2012.

I must confess that I am still sadly yet to ever have had the chance to see an Oscar ceremony broadcast to date, lacking the television capabilities beyond terrestrial channels that would allow me access to the awards. But the Oscars are something that are watched by millions the world over, and they are far and away the most prestigious awards granted in the film industry.

Some incredible films are predicted to be going to the Oscars next year, including the likes of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Luc Besson’s The Lady; We Need To Talk About Kevin; and many, many more brilliant films. I personally can’t wait to see how the awards turn out, and having Murphy hosting the ceremony sounds like a pretty solid choice to me.

Though many might think he’s passed his prime, Murphy’s upcoming performance in Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist alongside Ben Stiller and Casey Affleck is said to be ingenious, marking a return to the height of his long and brilliant comedy career. Ratner is one of the producers for next year’s Academy Awards, and it was he that suggested Murphy to the Academy for the role of hosting, having worked with him on Tower Heist, and clearly building a relationship with him, knowing how good a choice he would be.

According to one unnamed insider,

“Nobody knows movies better or is a bigger cinephile than Eddie. Not Brett. Not even Quentin Tarantino. Eddie can quote scenes from every single movie word for word. He can bring all that experience to hosting. Plus he has Saturday Night Live experience before a live crowd. And worldwide the biggest crossover comedians are Will Smith and Eddie Murphy.”

Though the rumours received a slightly mixed response over the weekend, I’m definitely warming to the idea now that it’s been confirmed. I love Murphy in so many different films, and I fully expect him to be a brilliant host for next year’s Awards. I only hope that I’ll finally be able to see it live with everybody else.