Regis Philbin hosted his last episode of 'Live! With Regis and Kelly' yesterday (18 Nov 2011). 80-year-old Regis Philbin said his final goodbyes after a huge number of tributes came in by a variety of celebrities.
After more than 28 years on morning television, Philbin said good-bye in front of an audience that included Donald Trump, Diane Sawyer and former co-host Kathie Lee Gifford. As part of the celebrations, there was a montage of highlights from Philbin and Gifford's 15 years together, narrated by Alan Alda, and including taped messaged from stars including Justin Timberlake and ANNE HATAWAY, and interviews with Philbin's wife Joy and their children. Furthermore, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented Philbin with a key to the city. His co-host for the past 10 years, Kelly Ripa, cried as she thanked him for changing her life, telling him: "Your light is what shined around all of us and made us look so bright for so long." Philbin closed the show, by simply stating: "I'll always remember spending these mornings with all of you."
ABC is yet to find a replacement host. However, Jerry Seinfeld will join Ripa next week, with Neil Patrick Harris filling in the following week. Regis Philbin had recently declared that he was a man deeply proud of his Irish heritage which he traces to County Mayo and as a graduate of Notre Dame. He had been named in the Top 100 Irish Americans by Irish Central.