Supermodel Tyra Banks has been named as the new host of America’s Got Talent.
Howie Mandel, who serves as one of the show’s judges, made the announcement on Sunday on Twitter.
— America's Got Talent (@nbcagt) March 12, 2017
Banks has replaced rapper Nick Cannon, who served as host of America’s Got Talent since 2009. Cannon announced last month that he was leaving the show after a falling out with the network over a joke told on a showtime comedy special.
In the special, Cannon told a racially charged joke employing NBC as an acronym incorporating a racial slur. He claimed in a Facebook post that the network NBC’s executives threatened to terminate him over the joke.
“After days of deliberating over some extremely disappointing news that I was being threatened with termination by executives because of a comedy special that was only intended to bring communities closer together, I was to be punished for a joke,” Cannon wrote.
“Since I was a little girl, I’ve been obsessed with grandiose acts and performers who make the seemingly impossible possible. I love how ‘AGT’ brings that feeling into everyone’s home, capturing the best of people who come out and give it their all to make those big, fierce and outrageous dreams come true,” Banks said.
She added that she is looking forward to connection with the dreamers, having fun and giving hugs and words of encouragement when needed.
“And maybe I’ll get one or two performers to smize for the audience!” she said
Paul Telegdy, NBC’s president of alternative and reality, said: “Tyra is the complete package: Out-of-this-world talented, funny, brilliant and all heart. In whatever she has done, she has always connected with audiences around the world. Her vivacious spirit will infuse ‘AGT’ in a big way.”
America’s Got Talent ranks as the most-watched summer alternative series. Season 12 is set to begin filming in Los Angeles this month, along with judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum and Mel B.
“Welcome to the America’s Got Talent family, Tyra! This is really exciting,” said Cowell, who is also executive producer and creator of the Got Talent format. He joined the judging panel last season.
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