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2009 Oscar Host and Nominees
First-time Oscar host Hugh Jackman
Designer gowns and golden statues can only mean one thing...it's Oscar® time! On Sunday, February 22, 2009, Hollywood will roll out the red carpet for the 81st Academy Awards. Every year promises surprises and touching acceptance speeches, but this year, Oprah, Gayle King, Mark Consuelos and Ali Wentworth are excited for another reason—the host!

For the first time, actor Hugh Jackman—named the Sexiest Man Alive in 2008 by People magazine—is hosting Hollywood's big night. "I love him, and I'm so excited for him," Oprah says. "The Oscars are going to be so great this year. I don't care if they go on for five hours, because Hugh is hosting."

When he was offered the gig in mid-December, Hugh says Oprah was the first person who called to congratulate him. At the time, Hugh says he was backstage at a German television show. "I was literally on the phone, about to go on, and they're speaking German to me, and I'm like, 'Oprah's on the phone. ... I'm not going on. Hold on a second.'"

With just days left to prepare, Hugh says he's more excited than nervous. While he won't reveal all that he has in store, he says he ran ideas past comedians Steve Martin and Whoopi Goldberg, former Oscar hosts, before settling on certain jokes.

Mark wants to know...would Hugh rather be the host or be nominated? "Both," Hugh says.