Regis Philbin made it clear that when he exited “Live! With Regis and Kelly” last November that he was not retiring. Now, starting next week, he’ll be back — but this time with a different spunky TV star.
The ubiquitous television host will be joining celebrity chef Rachel Ray in her kitchen on “The Rachael Ray Show” once a month beginning Monday. The appearance on Ray’s hit cooking show will mark his return to morning programming, which he stepped down from after hosting “Live!” for 28 seasons. The 81-year-old said that when the offer came in, he couldn’t refuse.
“I’m not going to say I don’t want to do your show!” he told USA Today. “I think it’s fun. I spent my whole life doing this … [Now] it’s not the every-morning burden.”
Philbin has not exactly been resting on his laurels since leaving Kelly Ripa alone last year to host the hit morning show with a series of guest hosts, and eventual new permanent co-host Michael Strahan. In addition to filling in for talk show host Piers Morgan on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight,” he was seen on the small screen in TV Land’s “Hot in Cleveland,” where he portrayed a love interest of Betty White’s character.
Philbin says that he is a friend of Ray, whose show followed his for many years in the New York market.
“I like her a lot. I’ve done her show a number of times … She’s a little dynamo,” he said.
Not only will the always effervescent Philbin be gaining some screen time while appearing on the two-time Daytime Emmy winning show, but he might be gaining some culinary skills – something he says he is lacking.
“I can make a sandwich,” he said. “Two pieces of bread and you lay a little cheese or something on there. Add some mustard. Bang! I’ve made some lunch!”