Australia’s major TV and film awards ceremony has scored an A-list presenter, with the late announcement that Russell Crowe is to host the event.
The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards will take place for the second time on Wednesday.
The high profile actor’s involvement will also come as a boost for Network Ten, which will air the ceremony later that night.
According to AACTA, former Packed To The Rafters star Hugh Sheridan – originally announced as the presenter – was ruled out because of an “LA schedule conflict”.
Appearing along with Crowe are fellow Oscar winners, Geoffrey Rush, who is AACTA president, and Cate Blanchett.
The event will take place in front of 1000 people at The Sar Event centre in Sydney. Other big TV and film names attending include Hugo Weaving, Rove McManus, Rebecca Gibney, Deborah Mailman, Lachy Hulme, Matt LeNevez and Shane Jacobsen.
In addition to the AACTA Awards in Sydney, Crowe will also host the AACTA International Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday.
Crowe previously hosted the Australian Film Institute Awards in 2005.
AACTA boss Damian Trewhella, said: “Russell Crowe is a formidable talent whose work has been recognised through peer assessed awards the world over, including through the Oscars, BAFTAs and AFI Awards.
“That Russell is hosting two events for the Australian Academy in L.A. and Sydney within the space of a week attests to both his support of the Australian screen industry, and his leadership with AACTA as we promote a voice for the Australian industry in the U.S.. We are incredibly pleased to have Russell on board for what is going to be an amazing show.’’
Rush said: ‘’The upcoming 2nd AACTA Awards present a true reflection of all that our talented Australian screen practitioners and performers are achieving here and abroad.”
Crowe said in the announcement: ‘’The Australian Academy is making its mark in the States, and I’m equally as honoured to represent the Australian industry in L.A. as host of AACTA’s International Awards, as I am to return home to celebrate the success of my peers at the 2nd AACTA Awards Ceremony in Sydney.”