Tom Bergeron on Ever Returning to Dancing with the Stars: 'This Train Has Left the Station'
While chatting with TV Guide Magazine for a new interview, the 65-year-old television personality — who hosted DWTS from the show's premiere in 2005 to 2019 — implied that fans shouldn't hold out hope for him to return to the popular ABC dance competition series.
Bergeron said that fans have told him they won't watch the series until he's hosting again. He told TV Guide he replies, "I say, 'Well, there's really no 'until' here."
He added: "This train has left the station."
The hosting change up on DWTS happened back in July when ABC announced that Bergeron and his co-host, Erin Andrews — who joined the show in 2014 — would not be returning for season 29.
"Tom Bergeron will forever be part of the Dancing with the Stars family. As we embark on a new creative direction, he departs the show with our sincerest thanks and gratitude for his trademark wit and charm that helped make this show a success," ABC said in a statement to PEOPLE at the time.
Bergeron initially announced his exit on social media, tweeting, "Just informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me. It's been an incredible 15-year run and the most unexpected gift of my career. I'm grateful for that and for the lifelong friendships made."
"That said, now what am I supposed to do with all of these glitter masks?" Bergeron jokingly added.
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A day after announcing the departures, ABC revealed that Tyra Banks would be taking over hosting duties and would also serve as an executive producer on the series.
In October, an executive producer on the show said replacing the two former hosts was "all about evolution."
"Any show like this that has been on for many, many seasons needs to continue to evolve," Andrew Llinares said while speaking to reporters during ABC's virtual fall press day earlier this year, per Entertainment Tonight. "So I think changing that host is all about evolution."
He added, "It was all about making the show feel fresh, making it feel new and make it reach out to a new audience — as well as the audience that's been there for years."
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Despite the response from fans, Bergeron shared that he doesn't harbor any negative feelings toward those who continue to watch DWTS without him and Andrews.
"I appreciate the sentiment," he told TV Guide. "[But] I don't hold it against anybody if they [watch]."
In the interview, Bergeron also revealed what made hosting the hit reality series for 28 seasons so special, detailing the connections he made with others and "the friendships I have with people who were on camera and behind the camera."
"I used to throw midseason parties for cast and staff. It helped create a sense of solidarity," Bergeron shared. "And then we'd try to sober up the next day."