Talk show icon Regis Philbin will be taking a leave-of-absence from his long-running ABC daytime talk show, Live with Regis and Kelly, to undergo a hip replacement surgery.
The 78-year-old Philbin made the announcement Monday on his show that he’ll go under the knife on December 1st, after the show’s crew returns to New York. The show is currently broadcasting from Las Vegas this week.
“I’ve been limping around here; it really is painful,” Regis said at the end of the show’s opening segment.
“I’ll be back next year,” said Philbin who didn’t give a firm date for his return to the show.
The show later issued a clarification. “Recovery for this procedure typically is estimated to be four to six weeks, and Regis expects to return to ‘Live’ as soon as possible,” a rep for “Regis and Kelly” said.
Neither Philbin nor co-host Kelly Ripa addressed who would be the temporary replacement for Philbin during his recovery. Regis and Kelly has often used guest co-hosts when one of the stars of the talk show is away.
If you’re thinking that CNN anchor Anderson Cooper may replace Philbin, don’t. The 43-year-old said that there’s no truth to rumors he’ll be replacing Regis Philbin on Live.
“Regis is the king,” Cooper says. “He’s not going anywhere!”
Philbin holds the Guinness world record for having spent the most hours on camera. As of 2006, the last time the record was updated, he had logged 15,662 hours on screen; three more years of Live, hosting Million Dollar Password on CBS and other guest and talk-show appearances have only added to that.
This isn’t the first time Philbin has had to miss time due to health concerns; the long-time television host left the show for six weeks while recuperating from open-heart surgery.
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