Neil Patrick Harris to succeed Ellen DeGeneres as Oscars host

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 21: Actor Neil Patrick Harris speaks onstage during Neil Patrick Harris: In Conversation in the AT&T Studio during the 2017 Vulture Festival at Milk Studios on May 21, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)

The Oscars will be hosted by an out performer for the second year running – after Neil Patrick Harris was announced as the ceremony’s new host.

The How I Met Your Mother star broke the news that he would host the 2015 Academy Awards through a short skit, in which he ticks off ‘Host the Oscars’ as the last item on his bucket list.

He will follow the 2014 host, Ellen DeGeneres, making him the second openly gay performer in a row to host the prestigious event.

The traditional Oscars ‘Night Before’ party will also move venue in 2015, boycotting the Brunei-owned Beverly Hills Hotel after the country enacted a law calling for homosexuals to be stoned to death.

DeGeneres attracted controversy while hosting this year’s ceremony, with adult film director Bruce LaBruce labelling her “transphobic and disrespectful” after she quipped to gay icon Liza Minnelli: “Hello to the best Liza Minnelli impersonator I’ve ever seen. Good job, sir.”

Minelli later spoke out in her defence, saying: “I think it went a little stray on her. I don’t think she meant any harm at all, and I think she’s a wonderful lady.

“I think she thought it would be funny, but she never stopped after she said it to say ‘my friend, Liza Minnelli’.”

DeGeneres is married to long-term partner Portia de Rossi, while Harris recently wed his partner David Burtka.