Regis Philbin claims that it was a contract dispute that forced him off ‘Live’

By Daniel S Levine,
Regis Philbin arrives for the TV Land Awards at the Jacob Javits Center in New York on April 10, 2011. UPI /Laura Cavanaugh

Regis Philbin claimed today that it was a contract dispute, not his decision to retire, that forced him to leave Live with Regis & Kelly.

According to Zap 2 It, Philbin told Mojo In The Morning, a Detroit radio show, that ABC let him go, deciding to walk away from a contract dispute and that he does not really want to retire.

"I'm not calling it quits, you understand. I'm moving on. I'm not retiring. I'm not quitting. I'm moving on,” he said.

The radio hosts, which included DJ Shannon Murphy who co-hosted Live with Philbin earlier this year while Kelly Ripa was out, told him that it was a mistake for ABC to drop him, according to Entertainment Weekly.

“Of course it’s a big mistake, but Regis is moving on,” Philbin responded.

The 80-year-old announced that he would leave the show in January, with his last episode airing on Nov. 18. Philbin co-hosted the show for 28 years, starting with Kathie Lee-Gifford in 1988.

ABC has yet to announce a replacement host. Philbin did have some words of wisdom for anyone who has to fill his shoes, though.

“You don’t know how difficult it is to keep a situation going on a show like that that has no writers, that has no meetings. You just go out there and you do it. I could do that because I’ve done it for 50 years, that’s the way that I like to do it. But that doesn’t mean it’s right for everybody else,” he said.



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