Chris Rock's fears he won't be asked back to present at next year's (06) Academy Awards have been confirmed by one of the ceremony's bosses.

The 40-year-old comedian received mixed reviews for his efforts at the February (05) show, stating afterwards that he'd happily take on duties again, if asked.

But while BRUCE DAVIS, executive director of the ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES, is thrilled with how Rock handled his chores, he has huge doubts he'll be asking the funnyman back - at least not next year.

He says, "I really shouldn't speculate. We have our own list of needs. If we did the Oscars by polls, we'd give the nominations to the top five box-office films.

Davis continues, "When you have a new host that strikes some sparks, there is evidence that ratings go up," adding that it is rare for anyone to host for two years in a row.

Rock helped US TV network ABC attract 41.5 million viewers, which was down two million from 2004, but ratings were up from last year (04) among viewers aged 18 to 34 - those most coveted by advertisers. It is speculated that BILLY CRYSTAL, JAY LENO and ELLEN DeGENERES are among the favourites to helm March's 78th annual show.

08/04/2005 19:14