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Regis Announces Retirement

Regis
(By: Frederick M. Brown Getty Images Entertainment)

(AP)

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.”

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.

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