Regis Philbin’s decision to quit “Live with Regis and Kelly” was announced on Tuesday’s show. That Philbin is leaving “Live with Regis and Kelly” may come as a surprise to many viewers, but it appears that he is just ready to move on to the next chapter of his life. It’s hard to blame the 79-year-old host, especially with how long he has already been on television.
According to USA Today, the announcement came near the beginning of the show, as Philbin turned to the camera and stated that he had an announcement to make. He proceeded to tell the audience that this will be his last year on the show, and that, after 28 years at the helm, it is time to call it quits. He didn’t go as far as announcing a date, so that will leave the rest of us to guess what day his last show will air.
When Philbin announced that “this year” would be his last on the show, he wasn’t very specific at all. We could view that as Philbin’s coming to an end during the current season, which would mean a late spring or early summer exit. We could also view it as Philbin stating that 2011 would be his last year, pushing his end date out as far as December of 2011. With the ratings that he brings, though, it should really be his choice anyway.
Co-host Kelly Ripa seemed very saddened by the news, and that is quite understandable after sharing basically every morning with the man for the last decade. This seems to also be a move that Philbin has decided for himself, possibly simply feeling that his long run on television was ready to wrap up. One can’t help but wonder if he has watched Dick Clark perform the last few years during the New Years Eve celebration and thought to himself that it was best to go out on his own terms.
The rumors are going to begin immediately as to who (if anyone) will replace Philbin on the morning show. Ripa was the replacement for Kathie Lee Gifford, and the show has been doing well in the ratings these many years later. Now it seems that Ripa could definitely go on as co-host of the show with a new person sitting beside her. It definitely won’t be the same, but for any audience members who have seen the bevy of guest hosts over the years, they know it is possible for someone else to serve as the host.
Maybe this will be where someone like Jeff Probst makes the move from “Survivor” over to being a television host; he has definitely been a good guest host many times before.