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Fri 23 Feb 2007 In: International News

This year's Academy Award host, lesbian comedienne Ellen DeGeneres has revealed that dressing in a fancy frock is off the agenda. “Everyone's pestering me about a dress. It's out of the question. I love suits,” she told the NZ Herald's Rebecca Barry. DeGeneres, and the character she played on her TV sitcom ‘Ellen' came out as lesbian in 1997, and she will become the first gay Academy Awards host when she presents this weekend's ceremony. Hosting the Emmys in 2005, DeGenres quipped: "What would bug the Taleban more than seeing a gay woman in a suit surrounded by Jews?" The star now says, “The odd thing is I actually forget I'm gay till people remind me”. She also jokes that the film Brokeback Mountain's Oscar nominations last year might have been a reason for her not being asked to host the awards last year: “That movie and me hosting - too gay.” Could this be the first of many Academy Award hosting gigs? “I'm going to pee on the stage to mark my territory,” she laughs. “If I enjoy myself and it goes well, then, yeah, I would love to do it again. I love hosting. It's my jumping out of an airplane or rock climbing or what people do to get that thrill.” For our LGBT communities, the selection of DeGeneres as host is significant. As the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's Damon Romine notes on the ‘After Ellen' website, "This is an important milestone for our visibility. “No other gay performer has so successfully conquered mainstream America while living openly and honestly, and the decision to name Ellen host of the Oscars clearly reflects a comfort level a global audience has with her." The 79th Annual Academy Awards will be broadcast on Sky Movies 1, 2.30pm until 5.30pm on Monday 26th February, then on TVOne later that evening, at 10.15pm. DeGeneres' talk show is on TVOne at 3pm weekdays.     Ref: NZ Herald, After Ellen (m)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Friday, 23rd February 2007 - 12:00pm

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