Regis Philbin Retires From 'Live! With Regis And Kelly'

28-year talk-show veteran says hosting 'was the biggest thrill of my life.'

After 28 years as the co-host of "Live!" Regis Philbin announced Tuesday (January 18) that he will retire. Philbin told viewers live on-air that this will be his last year hosting the morning talk show mainstay.

"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 to come back to New York, where I grew up as a kid watching TV in the early days, 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,"

target="_blank">he explained, with co-host Kelly Ripa by his side. "Everything must come to an end for certain people on-camera, especially certain old people," he joked.

Further information about when Philbin's last day will be or who might replace him was not announced, however he added, "This is gonna happen sometime the end of the summer or fall. We'll have a lot of fun between now and then!"

Ripa, who has been hosting the show with Philbin for nearly a decade, added, "I think I can only speak for America, and all of us here, when I say it has been a pleasure and a privilege and a dream come true. And I wish I could do something to change your mind."

Ripa joined Philbin in 2001 after current "Today" host Kathie Lee Gifford left the show in 2000. Gifford was the show's second co-host: It began in 1983 with the name "The Morning Show" and Cyndy Garvey by Philbin's side. Gifford replaced Garvey in 1985. Three years later, the show went national and gained the "Live! With Regis And Kathie Lee" moniker.

target="_blank">TMZ reports that Ripa had no idea Philbin was going to make the announcement Tuesday. Sources told the website the daytime vet alerted his co-host of the announcement only 15 minutes before they went live.

The source adds that Ripa was "stunned," but "she wasn't upset." Philbin reportedly decided to stay mum until the last minute for fear that the news might leak.

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