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Hugh's the Man for Oscar Host

Hugh Jackman, X-Men Twentieth Century Fox

Well, Sexiest Man Alive is apparently a good enough credential for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Academy announced this morning that Hugh Jackman will serve as host of the 81st Annual Academy Awards Feb. 22. (Which probably makes the complete shutout of his Australia at yesterday's Golden Globe nominations a bit more palatable.)

The selection is a marked departure for the Academy, which has typically relied on comics—Jon Stewart, Chris Rock and Ellen DeGeneres were the last three emcees—making this year's event more of an insider's job. (Sorry, Ricky Gervais.)

The likable 40-year-old X-Man is also the first host in years who could potentially find himself on the stage and at the podium, provided his Nicole Kidman-costarring, Baz Luhrmann-directed epic picks up some awards buzz.

And the Aussie has some key experience. As a three-time host of the Tony Awards, 2003-2005, he helped the Broadway kudosfest to some of its biggest ratings in years.

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