NEW YORK (AP / CBS New York) – For such a famously excitable guy, Regis Philbin made his big announcement with surprising calm: He’s retiring from his show.

Philbin delivered the news at the start of Tuesday morning’s “Live With Regis and Kelly,” which he has hosted for more than a quarter-century, most recently sharing hosting duties with Kelly Ripa.

He said he would be stepping down from the show around the end of the summer, though he didn’t specify a departure date.

“I don’t want to alarm anybody,” he began, then said, “This will be my last year on the show.”

1010 WINS Reporter Carol D’Auria talks with fans outside the Upper West Side studio

His brief remarks came during the show’s off-the-cuff “host chat,” after he and Ripa had batted the breeze about the Golden Globes, football and the icy weather outside.

“It’s been a long time, it’s been 28 years,” Philbin said reflectively, speaking of his current Manhattan-based show. “It was the biggest thrill of my life to come back to New York, where I grew up as a kid watching TV in the early days, you know, never even dreaming that I would one day have the ability, or whatever it takes, to get in front of the camera and talk to it. …

“There is a time that everything must come to an end for certain people on camera — especially certain old people!” cracked Philbin, who turns 80 in August.

“I wish I could do something to make you change your mind,” said Ripa.

“Now waaait a minute,” Philbin said slyly.


The show’s distributors, Disney-ABC Domestic Television, said in a statement the “Live” franchise will continue, adding that a new co-host will be named to join Ripa, who marks 10 years with the show next month.

But Philbin, referring to his time left on the show, assured viewers, “We’ll have a lot of fun between now and then.”

Philbin’s leave-taking will happen not long after another giant of daytime TV, Oprah Winfrey, ends her syndicated show to concentrate on her new cable network. A Philbin contemporary in the broadcasting world, 77-year-old Larry King, retired from his prime-time CNN talk show last month. His successor, Piers Morgan, debuted Monday.

Since the 1950s, Philbin has been a TV fixture, though for years he worked mostly for local stations.

In 1967, he won national exposure as the announcer and sidekick on comic Joey Bishop’s short-lived ABC late-night show.

Later on, Philbin became a star in local morning television — first in Los Angeles, then, in 1983, in New York. In 1985, he teamed with Kathie Lee Johnson, a year before she married former football star Frank Gifford, and their show went into national syndication in 1988.

Philbin clicked with daytime audiences as a common man who loved to sound off about familiar frustrations, even as he lived a life rubbing elbows with fellow celebrities.

Gifford left the show in 2000. After a tryout period for a replacement, soap star Ripa (“All My Children”) filled the slot.

One of daytime syndication’s most enduring hits, “Live With Regis and Kelly” was seen by an average of 4 million viewers according to a recent Nielsen Co. report.

Typically the show airs live from its Manhattan studio at 9 a.m. Eastern time, though it is broadcast by some stations later in the day.

A decade ago, Philbin conquered prime time as host of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” which became a ratings phenomenon for ABC.

A three-time Emmy Award winner, Philbin was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences at the Daytime Emmy Awards in 2008.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (19)
  1. deedee says:

    Terry Bradshaw would be a great replacement. He is hilarious and would bring real life humor, not a stand up act, to the show which is part of what makes Regis and Kelly charming. I think the age difference was part of what made the show good.

  2. Hugh says:

    He’s old…he needed to go

  3. Roe says:

    You are one of a kind and can never be replaced. Good luck on your retirement ! You will be greatly missed !

  4. Nancy says:

    May I suggest Jimmy Kimmell as a replacement. Now there’s a guy that will still have you laugjing ten minutes after he has finished a joke. He would make a wonderful and I bet the ratings would go through the roof.

  5. jtorres says:

    They were able to find a great replacement when Kathie Lee left. No one can replace Reege but they can find someone who can step in and make the role his own. Like Kelly did. Good luck, Regis.

  6. Matthew Miller says:

    We love you Rege

  7. Heywood Yadie says:

    It’s about time! Regis RIP.

  8. yes um says:

    you can still see him on td bank

  9. Elena says:

    Oh Regis, you were my mother’s favorite tv star. How in the world is Kelly Ripa going to get thru the days without u? Best of luck on your retirement.

  10. Nancy (New York) says:

    There will be no one that can fill your shoes!!! You put a smile on my face every morning, but I realize its time to stop and smell the roses, Much happiness to you and Joy in your retirement….Nanc

  11. Ran911 says:

    Wont be the same without you!

  12. pogo the clown says:

    I love that “Seinfeld” episode where Kramer goes on Regis & Kathie Lee to promote his coffee table book. Regis said Kramer was “bonkos”. Kramer gives Kathie Lee a big kiss, but then spit his coffee all over her. Funny stuff !!!!!

  13. Gwyn says:

    OH NOOOO my mornings won’t be the same….Please don’t go. I WILL MISS YOU.

  14. kally says:

    The show will never be the same without you!!!! Good Luck Regis you will be missed!!!!!!!!!

  15. Tom Bruce says:

    May you live long and enjoy your retirement. You’ve earned it. Can’t wait to hear what Letterman has to say about it tonight.

  16. Ellen says:

    I’ll miss him very much so, but can understand why he is retiring. Now who are they going to get to fill his seat?

  17. Captain Obvious says:

    Uhm, isn’t it Kathie Lee Gifford – not Katie. I swear, they have chimps writing and editing these articles!

  18. les says:

    It will be hard to “fill his shoes”, if anyone even is able.

  19. Mich Lee D C says:

    You will be missed Big Daddy!

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