NEW YORK, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Regis Philbin ended his stint as co-host of the morning program "Live!" in New York Friday by thanking his fans for the 28 1/2 years they had together.
"This is the time to say goodbye to everybody," Philbin, 80, said at the end of his last show, which featured taped good-luck wishes and thank-you messages from his many admirers.
"I wanted to thank our staff, our crew, the prop-house guys where it all started for me years ago, my producers, [Michael] Gelman and, of course, my lovely co-hosts over the years," Philbin said. "You know, this was the last chance I had in this business -- to make it here in New York. And I came back a little bit late in my life to make it all work. I guess it was fate that it would happen this late and it did; 28 1/2 years and we've had a wonderful show and a great time and now the show continues with Kelly [Ripa]. Some people ask why has the show stayed on so long and I think that is answered to me every time people tell me why they watch it. They watch it, they say, because it helps them feel better and it can't get better than that. It makes them happy and I'll never be able to top that. ... I'll always remember spending these mornings with all of you. So, thank you very much for these great years together. God bless you all and I hope I see you again."
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld will serve as guest co-host with Ripa when the show returns Monday.
A permanent replacement for Philbin has not yet been announced.