October 26, 2009 / 7:38 PM / 10 years ago

Britain's Ricky Gervais to host Golden Globe Awards

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - British comedian Rick Gervais will host this January’s Golden Globe Awards, long called Hollywood’s biggest party for its more casual atmosphere compared to other honors like the Oscars.

Organizers on Monday said that Gervais, 48, the Emmy-award winning creator of “The Office” television show and the writer, director and star of comedy film “The Invention of Lying”, will be the first official host of the Golden Globes since 1995.

The Golden Globes, broadcast live on U.S. TV, hand out awards for the year’s best movies and TV shows as chosen by members of Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Winners are often considered frontrunners for the world’s top film honors, the Oscars, and because the Golden Globes are given out after cocktails and a dinner, the stars sometimes let down their guard more at other formal awards shows.

Gervais, who has become a Hollywood darling with his impromptu appearances as a presenter at recent awards shows, said Golden Globes offer was one he couldn’t refuse.

It is “an environment where I feel I can get free reign as a host. I have resisted many other offers like this, but there are just some things you don’t turn down,” Gervais said.

Paul Telegdy, head of alternative programing at NBC which will broadcast the January 17 ceremony, said Gervais, who is also a stand-up comic, “has provided some of the most hilarious and memorable awards show moments in recent history.”

Nominations for the 67th annual Golden Globes will be announced on December 15 and handed out in Beverly Hills on January 17 in a ceremony seen in more than 160 nations, organizers said.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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