Regis Philbin is returning to morning television. The former “Live with Regis and Kelly” host has taken a position on “Today” as a special contributor.
It was announced on “Today” on Thursday that Philbin would join Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb on a sporadic basis. The move isn’t too surprising to “Today” fans. The fourth hour of NBC’s morning show has often featured the 83-year-old since he first reunited with Gifford on the show in 2012. He has returned several times this year and even starred in “Today the Musical,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Gifford and Kotb made the announcement by having Regis make a surprise appearance as their bartender. He poured some champagne and Kotb said, “We are going to let everyone in on our secret. We thought it would be the perfect addition to our motley crew: Regis Philbin!”
Philbin retired from “Live” in 2011, but during his tenure there, he hosted with Gifford from 1988 to 2000. He went on to host with Kelly Ripa until 2011, but it appears he kept in touch with Gifford more than Ripa. In March, the TV personality admitted that he hadn’t spoken to the current “Live” host in quite a while.
“I haven’t seen her, I don’t see her,” Philbin told “The Hoda Show” on Sirius XM (via the NY Daily News). “She lived downtown, and now I hear she’s on the East Side and, uh, you know.”
Since leaving “Live with Regis and Kelly,” the former host has kept a relatively low profile, but maintains a presence on TV. In addition to his occasional appearances on “Today,” he has been a guest co-host on “Rachael Ray,” and he has made a few guest appearances on comedies like “Hot in Cleveland,” “New Girl” and “The Odd Couple.”
“Today” airs mornings on NBC. Check your local listings for times.