Regis Philbin’s dance card is full: He will stand in as host of ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2005, as the veteran Clark recovers from what is being called a mild stroke, and Reege will also handle the hosting duties for Thursday’s reunion portion of The Apprentice 2 season wrap-up, NBC has announced.
“Regis Philbin has been one of my closest friends for more than 20 years. He is a legend in the business and I personally invited him to join me in hosting The Apprentice three hour finale,” Trump says in a statement. “It will be great to incorporate his expertise at hosting live events and I know we are also going to have fun together.”
Says the former Who Wants to Be a Millionaire host: “I’m very happy that NBC asked me to be a part of the Apprentice finale. … Me and the Trumpster, what a team.”
As for New Year’s Rockin’ Eve – which Clark, 75, has hosted for the past 32 years – he said in a statement released by his publicist Monday: “I’m so glad that Regis hadn’t yet made any New Year’s plans. It’ll feel strange watching it on TV but my doctors felt it was too soon. I’m sure Regis will do a great job and I’m thankful that he was able to step in on such short notice.”
Philbin, who will serve as host on the east coast while Ashlee Simpson handles the West Coast portion of the show, called his upcoming Dec. 31 appearance “the greatest ‘temp job’ in the world.”