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Regis Philbin retiring from 'Live! With Regis and Kelly' [Updated]

January 18, 2011 |  7:08 am
Regis On Tuesday morning, Regis Philbin announced that he will be retiring from his talk show "Live! With Regis and Kelly." He broke the news at the beginning of the show, noting that the franchise would continue without him. "This will be my last year on this show," he told viewers. "It's been a long time; it's been 28 years since I've been here. And it was the biggest thrill of my life.
"There is a time that everything must come to an end for certain people on camera, especially certain old people," he joked.

[Updated, 9:16 am: Philbin said he will step down around the end of the summer or fall, but he didn't specify a departure date.]

[Updated, 8:07 am: The news marks the end of more than 40 years in television for Philbin. He got his big break as a page for "The Tonight Show" and later played Joey Bishop's sidekick on "The Joey Bishop Show." Over the years, he has won three Emmys, and he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences at the Daytime Emmy Awards in 2008.

He has been hosting “Live!” since it began as a local morning show in New York in 1983. Kathie Lee Gifford joined him in 1985, and the show went national as “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee” three years later. Current co-host Kelly Ripa replaced Gifford in 2001.

On Tuesday, Ripa looked emotional about Philbin's retirement. "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," she said.

Disney-ABC Domestic Television said in a statement that it will appoint a new co-host for Ripa, who will celebrate 10 years with the show next month.]

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Who should replace Regis Philbin? [Poll]

-- Melissa Maerz

Photo: Regis Philbin. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press

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