Regis Philbin taking a leave of absence

TV host will undergo a hip replacement surgery

Regis Philbin will be taking a leave of absence from his long-running ABC daytime talk show to undergo a hip replacement surgery.

Philbin, 78, made the announcement Monday on "Live with Regis and Kelly," which is broadcasting from Las Vegas this week.

"I've been limping around here; it really is painful," Regis said at the end of the show's opening segment.

His surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday, after the show's crew returns to New York, he said.

Philbin didn't give a firm return date, saying only, "I'll be back next year."

The show later issued a clarification. "Recovery for this procedure typically is estimated to be four to six weeks, and Regis expects to return to 'Live' as soon as possible, a rep for "Regis and Kelly" said.

Neither Philbin nor co-host Kelly Ripa addressed who would be filling in for the veteran host while he is away.

"Regis and Kelly" have often employed guest co-hosts when one of the stars of the talk show is away.
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