After 40 years in television and four co-hosts, including the longstanding Kathie Lee Gifford and, currently, Kelly Ripa, veteran talk show host Regis Philbin, 79, has announced that his early morning antics are approaching an end.

"This will be my last year on this show," Philbin declared on Tuesday morning's Live! with Regis and Kelly, to which the audience responded with a resounding, melancholy groan. "No, I know," the TV personality said, reassuring them. "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."

The television legend and three-time Emmy winner has been hosting some iteration of the morning show since 1983, before he teamed up with Gifford and the show went nationwide. "There is a time that everything must come to an end for certain people on camera – especially old people," Philbin explained.

Ripa took a more somber tone on the topic of her co-host's impending departure. "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 make you change your mind." Ever the jokester, Philbin suddenly seemed open to suggestions. "Well, now wait a minute!" he said.


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Philbin is set to leave Live! sometime late this summer. —KIMBERLY STEELE

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