NEW YORK (AP) - Veteran broadcaster Regis Philbin is retiring from his weekday talk show. Philbin made the announcement 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.
Philbin said he would be stepping down from the show around the end of the summer, but he didn't specify a departure date.
"I don't want to alarm anybody," he began, then declared, "This will be my last year on the show.
"It's been a long time. It's been 28 years," he continued, "and 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 is 79.
"I think I can only speak for America and all of us here," responded Ripa, "when I say 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."
"Now wait a minute," Philbin said slyly. Nothing was said about the future of the show after Philbin's exit, or what the future holds for Ripa, who is currently marking a decade as Philbin's co-host.
--- Disney-ABC Domestic Television distributes "Live! With Regis and Kelly."
--- Online: http://bventertainment.go.com/tv/buenavista/regisandkelly/index.html (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)