Looks like Ryan Seacrest will take a spin on “Wheel of Fortune” as its new host.

Weeks after longtime host Pat Sajak announced his retirement, Seacrest said Tuesday that he would take over hosting duties. The mega-producer and TV personality shared the news in a statement posted on Instagram.

“I’m truly humbled to be stepping into the footsteps of the legendary Pat Sajak,” he wrote. “I can say, along with the rest of America, that it’s been a privilege and pure joy to watch Pat and Vanna [White] on our television screens for an unprecedented 40 years.”

He added: “Pat, I love the way you’ve always celebrated the contestants and made viewers at home feel at ease. I look forward to learning everything I can from you during this transition.”

The “Wheel of Fortune” change of guard comes after Sajak said on Twitter that his “time has come.”

“I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last,” he wrote. “It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all.”

Seacrest comes to “Wheel of Fortune” with an impressive history of hosting gigs. He was the original host of “American Idol” when the singing competition premiered in 2002 and returned to host this year; served as a longtime host for ABC’s annual “Dick Clark New Year’s Rockin’ Eve”; and co-hosted “Live With Kelly and Ryan” with Kelly Ripa. He departed the morning talk show in April — only to return as a guest in May.

Seacrest, also a host for Los Angeles radio station KIIS-FM, also produced several hit reality TV series, including E!’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and its numerous spinoffs, and Bravo’s “Shahs of Sunset.”

In his statement, Seacrest, 48, added that hosting the Merv Griffin-created game show “Click” was “one of my first jobs” and that returning to host another game show is “truly a full circle moment for me.”

“I can’t wait to continue the tradition of spinning the wheel and working alongside the great [‘Wheel of Fortune’ co-host] Vanna White,” Seacrest addded.

Bloomberg first reported that the TV producer and “American Idol” host was in early talks to replace Sajak. Other personalities were also circling the spot.

While “The View” co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin asked guest and “Jeopardy!” host Ken Jennings about Sajak’s departure, “View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg said, “I want that job.

“I think it would be lots of fun,” she added.

ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith also said he wanted in. In an episode of his self-titled podcast, the sports commentator recalled how his mother was a fan of the game show.

“My mother loved ‘Wheel of Fortune.’ Loved ‘Wheel of Fortune,’” Smith said. “She really, really did, and so did I.

“I wanna throw my name in the hat,” he said, before adding that he didn’t want to give up his ESPN job or podcasting duties.

Less than a day after Sajak announced his retirement, “Wheel” devotees proposed that co-star and longtime letter turner White take over hosting duties.

White, 66, made her “Wheel of Fortune” debut in December 1982. She has flipped countless letters, donned more than 7,000 dresses and even took over as host for three weeks while Sajak recovered from surgery in 2019.

“That was so exciting and so emotional and happy, and I’m glad to be a part of it,” she said during her first night running the program.

For some devoted “Wheel” fans, White is Sajak’s natural successor.

“She’s already proven herself as a substitute host, everybody loves her and she can provide smooth, unbroken continuity,” @red_lupo wrote this month on Twitter.

“It’s time for Vanna White to host Wheel of Fortune,” @etucker 82 said on Twitter.

Sajak, 76, had been the face of “Wheel of Fortune” since Griffin launched the series in 1975. “Wheel of Fortune” is the second-most-watched show in syndication (second only to “Jeopardy!”), averaging 8.3 million weekly viewers.

Leading up to his exit, Sajak received criticism from fans for his on-screen behavior — including jokingly putting a contestant in a chokehold and mocking another player’s fear of fish. It’s unclear whether his actions, and resulting backlash, were related to the exit.

Sajak will continue to serve as chairman of the Hillsdale College Board of Trustees, a position he took up in 2019. Sajak previously served as a vice chairman of the board, from 2003 to 2019, of the conservative school in southern Michigan.

“Since 2019, we have benefitted from [Sajak’s] wisdom, intellect, and good humor as chairman of Hillsdale’s board of trustees,” Hillsdale College said in a statement shared with The Times. “We look forward to continuing our important work together and to what we are sure will be a bright future for Mr. Sajak and his family.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *