RICKY Gervais will host next year's Golden Globe Awards.

The British funnyman was confirmed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) as fronting their annual ceremony for the third year in a row following weeks of speculation.

The event's website stated: "After weeks of rumours it's finally official-Ricky Gervais will be back to host the Golden Globes for a third year.

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"The Hollywood Foreign Press Association voted for the controversial British comedian's return after meeting with NBC official Doug Vaughn."

It was claimed on Tuesday that the HFPA were divided over whether to invite Ricky back to host again after he sparked controversy for his put-downs and jokes at the expense of some of the film industry's biggest names - including Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp - in the past two years of presenting the awards.

Many members were said to be angry that network NBC, which hosts the show, is putting pressure on the Association to force them to accept him back.

A source said: "NBC has put the HFPA in a lose-lose situation. If the Hollywood Foreign Press says yes to Ricky, it risks turning the Globes into 'The Ricky Gervais Show' and leaving the impression that they're annually throwing a great party while inviting someone who humiliates all of the guests.

"If it says no, the HFPA looks like it has no sense of humour about itself."

However, there are some members of the HFPA who believe since Ricky's stint as host, viewership has risen and more people are excited about the awards, which take place in January.

The source added: "There are those who feel that ratings and revenue are what the HFPA need to focus on most. Of course that's all NBC is interested. The other faction believes that without Ricky, you may lose a little viewership but wind up better protecting the brand."

The Golden Globes will be held on January 15 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.



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