Eddie Murphy is to return to the programme where it all started for him, as the comedian announced his return to ‘Saturday Night Live’ for its 40th anniversary special. It will be his first appearance on the comedy performance show in over three decades.

The 'Today' show confirmed via a phone interview on ‘News One Now’ that Murphy will take part in the three hour special alongside a host of former ‘SNL’ names past and present. The anniversary show will be broadcast on NBC on Sunday 15th February.

Eddie Murphy Paige Butcher
Eddie Murphy, pictured with girlfriend Paige Butcher, will return to 'SNL'

Talking about his decision to return to the iconic show after such a long absence, Murphy said: “It just never worked out where the timing was right for me to do it. They're having a 40th anniversary - I'm going to that. And that will be the first time I've been back since I left.”

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The actor and comedian, globally famous for his three turns in the Beverly Hills Cop trilogy, joined ‘SNL’ back in 1981, and remains the second-youngest performer in the show’s four-decade long history. His final performance on the show was when he hosted it on December 15th 1984, ten months after he had made his final bow as a cast member.

NBC has not yet confirmed any special guests at all for the anniversary show, though Murphy’s appearance will almost certainly be a highlight. Some of his most memorable characters include ‘Gumby’, ‘Buckwheat’ and the Mr. Rogers spoof impersonation ‘Mr. Robinson’.

Back in June last year, it was announced that Murphy would be returning to Detroit to reprise his role as Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop 4, the first instalment in the series since 1994. Jerry Bruckheimer, the man behind the original 1984 classic, will be producing the picture, alongside director Brett Ratner.

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