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NEW YORK — Within moments after Regis Philbin caught viewers off-guard with the news that he’ll be leaving his talk show, the guessing game had begun: Who will replace him?
Maybe “Survivor” host Jeff Probst? Mark Consuelos, hubby of Regis’ co-host, Kelly Ripa? Golden Globes bad boy Ricky Gervais? Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino from “Jersey Shore”?
You kidding? Who can ever replace Reege?
“I don’t want to alarm anybody,” he began on Tuesday before dropping the bomb: “This will be my last year on the show.”
More specifically, he meant he will be stepping down from “Live! With Regis and Kelly” sometime in late 2011, though he didn’t pin down a departure date.
“We’ll have a lot of fun between now and then,” he promised his audience.
According to the syndicated show’s distributor, Disney-ABC Domestic Television, “Live!” will carry on, with a new co-host to be named to join Ripa, who marks 10 years with the show next month.
“There is a time that everything must come to an end for certain people on camera — especially certain old people!” cracked Philbin, 79.
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