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Sunday, April 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Alex Trebek says he needs 30 seconds for exit on final ‘Jeopardy’

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 3, 2020

In this April 30, 2017, photo, “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek speaks at the 44th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center in Pasadena, California. (Chris Pizzello / Invision)
In this April 30, 2017, photo, “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek speaks at the 44th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center in Pasadena, California. (Chris Pizzello / Invision)
Associated Press

NEW YORK – “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek says he’s already rehearsed what he’s going to say to the audience on his final show whenever that might be.

Trebek, host of the popular game show since 1984, announced last March that he’d been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer but will continue his job while still able.

In an interview on ABC broadcast in primetime on Thursday night, Trebek said he’ll ask the director to leave him 30 seconds at the end of his last taping.

“I will say my goodbyes and I will tell people, ‘Don’t ask me who’s going to replace me because I have no say whatsoever. But I’m sure that if you give them the same love and attention and respect that you have shown me … then they will be a success and the show will continue being a success,’” he said. “‘And until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.’”

Trebek has said in the past that he will stay “as long as my skills have not diminished” but told ABC’s Michael Strahan that the process had already begun. He did not specify what he meant.

If there is a target date for his exit, he isn’t letting on. “Jeopardy” tapes each show weeks in advance.

Trebek and his wife, Jean, sat down for the interview to promote a special tournament featuring three of the show’s best and best-known contestants: Brad Rutter, Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer.

That tournament starts airing on Tuesday.

An ABC special titled “What Is Jeopardy? Alex Trebek and America’s Most Popular Quiz Show” will air Thursday at 5 p.m.

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