Regis Philbin to Retire

Regis Philbin, the legendary talk show host, has announced his retirement. CNN has the story.

After more than 40 years in television, Regis Philbin is retiring from the small screen.

Philbin, 77, made the announcement Tuesday at the start of the long-running “Live with Regis & Kelly.”

“This will be my last year on this show … but there is a time, there is a time that everything needs to come to an end for certain people on camera, especially certain old people,” Philbin said.

The show, now in its 22nd year in national syndication, began as a local morning show in New York in 1983.

Kathie Lee Gifford joined Philbin in 1985 on the show and it debuted three years later nationally as “Live with Regis & Kathie Lee.”

Gifford left the show in 2000 and Philbin was joined by current co-host Kelly Ripa in 2001.

A choked-up Ripa said Tuesday after Philbin’s announcement, “I think I can only speak for America and all of us here when I say that it has been a pleasure and a privilege and a dream come true, and I wish I could do something to make you change your mind.”

No indication was given as to who may co-host with Ripa following Philbin’s departure at the end of the year.

Philbin has been plagued in recent years by health issues, including undergoing triple-bypass surgery in 2007 and a hip replacement in 2009.

In 2001, he was awarded Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Game Show Host for “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and Outstanding Talk Show Host for “Live.”

Philbin got his start in show business as a page for “The Tonight Show,” before hosting his own self-titled show out of San Diego from 1961-1965.

He served as Joey Bishop’s sidekick on “The Joey Bishop Show” and took “A.M. Los Angeles” from low ratings to No. 1 in its local market — perhaps a preview to his success on daytime TV with “Live.”

Philbin was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2006 and was given the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.
He and his wife, Joy, have been married for 40 years.

I’ve never watched the morning talk show because I’m at work when it airs, but I do recognize he’s a unique TV personality that can’t easily be replaced.

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