Pat Sajak prepares for his final spin.
The veteran entertainer, 75, says he’s almost “at the end” of his time on Wheel of Fortune after serving as a host for 41 years.
Sajak made the shocking admission in an interview with Entertainment Tonight on Thursday. “We are nearing the end. It was long ago [time]. We won’t be doing this in 40 years. The end is near,” he said.
He added: “It’s an honor to have been in people’s living rooms for so long. We are happy and proud.”
“Wheel of Fortune” first premiered in 1975 when Sajak was hired as presenter in December 1981. Vanna White, 65, was hired as a co-host in 1982. The duo have shared the screen together for the past 40 years.
Last year, Today reported that Sajak and White had signed a lucrative deal to continue co-hosting until mid-2024 – but Sajak’s new comments may indicate they are targeting an early exit from the gig.
Wheel of Fortune fans shouldn’t despair, however, as Sajak says the show will likely go on long after he and White leave the set.
“On most TV shows at this point you would have said, ‘That’s probably enough,’ but this show is not going to die,” he explained. “It seems I can leave before the show.”
It’s not the first time Sajak has addressed retirement rumors, telling Entertainment Tonight last September he couldn’t see himself spending another decade on Wheel of Fortune.
“We are certainly closer to the end than to the beginning,” said Sajak at the time. “I’d like to go before people tune in and look at me and be like, ‘Oh, what happened to him? I wouldn’t bet on seeing us in like 10 years I’d say.”
White was also interviewed and expressed a similar opinion.
The blonde beauty said she would “probably” leave the program before the decade is out, before paying tribute to her co-host.
“We’ve been together for about 38 years and he’s like my brother,” she said of Sajak. “He’s funny. I mean, we could finish each other’s sentences if we wanted to. We know each other that well.”
However, giving up their plum roles can be difficult for the well-paid couple. According to reports, everyone makes eight figures a year. In 2016, Sajak was reportedly making $15 million a year while White was making $10 million. It’s likely they’re making even more money now, having renewed their contracts last year.
It’s possible that Wheel of Fortune may have overspent its budget on its stars, with fans recently ranting about the show’s new look.
One viewer claimed that updates to the show’s puzzle board made the program look “cheap.”
https://nypost.com/2022/09/16/pat-sajack-reveals-wheel-of-fortune-retirement-the-end-is-near/ Pat Sajak Announces Retirement From ‘Wheel Of Fortune’: ‘The End Is Near’