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Chris Rock wasn't the first choice to host Oscars?

Los Angeles: Actor-comedian Chris Rock has claimed he's only hosting this year's Academy Awards because Ellen DeGeneres turned it down.

Chris Rock. Pic/AFP
Chris Rock. Pic/AFP

The comedian, who has been caught up in the controversial Oscars race row about a lack of diversity at the ceremony, has said the talk show host was actually the first choice, reports mirror.co.uk.

He said: "I told my agent I wanted to present because it's like, what's easier and better than presenting? You come in, do something really funny and get out of there.

"I'm only here because Ellen said no. And I'm sure she said no like eight times.

"She did so good last time she hosted the show, that's the standard."

Neil Patrick Harris was in charge last year, while DeGeneres's famous stint came in 2014 - memorable for a number of reasons, including the superstar selfie.

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