US broadcaster Regis Philbin has announced that he will be stepping down from Live with Regis and Kelly sometime this year.
The witty media personality, who holds the Guiness World Record for the most time spent in front of a television camera, has decided to call it quits, saying: “There is a time that everything must come to an end for certain people on camera – especially certain old people,” he said.
Philbin and co-host Kelly Ripa have been a team since 2001 and the chemistry that the two shared translated to high ratings for the show.
During his time as host of the show, Philbin has had to endure a number of health setbacks. In 2007 he underwent triple bypass surgery and two years later he had a hip replacement procedure. In 2010 he had surgery to remove a blood clot from his calf.
But he refused to let his health get the upper hand. Speaking of the looming procedure, Philbin said: “Darn it, I don’t want to do it. Nobody wants to do it, I guess. But they tell me. And I had a second opinion, I did all those things [tests for heart disease], and so they’re [the doctors] are all in agreement that it should be the bypass. And so that’s what I’m going to do.” Just a little over a month after the surgery, however, Philbin returned to the show. And the blood clot? He was back at work the day after having it removed.
While Ripa will continue to host the program, it is not yet known who will replace the 79-year-old, three-time Emmy Award winner.
Possible candidates include Survivor host Jeff Probst, Mark Consuelos — who is Ripa’s husband, actor Neil Patrick Harris, Ryan Seacrest, Bryant Rumbel, NY1 anchor Pat Kiernan and Kathy Griffin.
Who do you think will be filling the TV legend’s shoes?
Other big names to have undergone bypass surgery include Burt Reynolds, Bill Clinton, and Star Jones.
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