Ricky Gervais is to host the 67th annual Golden Globe Awards.

The glitzy event is seen by many to be Hollywood’s second biggest night of the year, trailing only to the Oscars in terms of prestige.

Gervais has resisted similar offers in the past, but accepted the Globes gig as producers were prepared to give him a “free reign” as host.

“There are just some things you don’t turn down,” the comedian said.

The Golden Globes will be handed out on January 17 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

In recent years the event has taken place without a main host, with the format instead relying on a procession of celebrities presenting the awards.

But organisers approached The Office and Extras co-creator after a cameo at last year’s event brought hilarity to proceedings.

On that occasion, Kate Winslet was one of the night’s big winners, taking away the best supporting actress honour for her role in The Reader, in which she plays a former Second World War concentration camp guard.

Addressing the actress from the stage, Gervais quipped: “I told you, do a holocaust movie and the awards come, didn’t I?”

In an episode of Extras, Winslet sends herself up as an actress attempting to win an Oscar by playing a nun in a holocaust movie.