Pat Sajak, the popular host of “Wheel of Fortune,” revealed during an interview this week that the “end is near” for him hosting the show.
The 75-year-old entertainer, who has hosted the show for 41 years, made the remarks during a Thursday interview with Entertainment Tonight.
“In most television shows by this time, you would have said, ‘That’s probably enough,’ but this show will not die,” Sajak said. “It appears I may go before the show.”
“Years go by fast. We’re getting near the end. It’s been a long [time]. We’re not gonna do this for another 40 years. The end is near,” he continued. “It’s an honor to have been in people’s living rooms for that long. People were out there welcoming us. We’re happy and proud.”
Sajak and co-host Vanna White said that they are focused on the upcoming premiere of their third season of Celebrity Wheel of Fortune.
Wheel of Fortune first aired back in 1975 with Sajak becoming its host six years later in 1981. White was hired the following year and the two have co-hosted the show ever since.
In an interview last year, Sajak hinted that his time on the show was starting to wind down even though he and White had just signed new contracts to stay on through the 2023-2024 season.
“We’re certainly closer to the end than the beginning,” Sajak said last year. “I’d like to leave before people tune in and look at me and say, ‘Ooh, what happened to him?’”
“I wouldn’t bet on seeing us in 10 years, I would say,” Sajak said, before asking White, “Is that fair?”
“Probably, yes,” White said.
News of Sajak’s eventual exit from the show comes after Alex Trebek, the host of the “Jeopardy!” gameshow since 1984, died in 2020 after hosting the show for 36 years.
The TV icon, whose avuncular personality and biting wit made the daily show a must-see for millions of Americans, announced in March 2019 that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He went through chemotherapy after the diagnosis but said he had no plans to retire.