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Digital Cover film© Christopher Willard

Pat Sajak becomes tearful in emotional Wheel of Fortune goodbye

 Ryan Seacrest will take over from Pat  

Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
Los Angeles correspondentLos Angeles
June 7, 2024
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After 41 years Pat Sajak has stepped down as host of Wheel Of Fortune, and thanked the viewers for giving him the "privilege" to become a safe space for everyone.

"Well, the time has come to say goodbye," he said, in the pre taped speech. "I have a few thanks and acknowledgements before I go, and I want to start with all watching out there. It's been an incredible privilege to be invited into millions of homes night after night, year after year, decade after decade." 

"I always felt that the privilege came with the responsibility to keep this daily half hour a safe place for family fun," he continued, adding: "No social issues, no politics, nothing embarrassing I hope, just a game." 

ABC's Celebrity Wheel of Fortune stars Pat Sajak. ((Ricky Middlesworth/ABC via Getty Images)© Ricky Middlesworth
Pat Sajak steps down after over 40 years

As Pat became overwhelmed with emotion he went on to say that over time the show became more than a game, instead becoming a place where "kids learned their letters, where people from other countries honed their English skills, where families came together along with friends and neighbors, and entire generations". 

"What an honor to play even a small part in all of that," he concluded. "Thank you for allowing me into your lives." 

Host Pat Sajak, hostess Vanna White in 1992© NBC
Host Pat Sajak, hostess Vanna White in 1992

Pat's final game and taping was filmed on April 5, closing out a chapter that has spanned over 40 years. Pat revealed he would be stepping down from the show in June 2023, sharing the news in a tweet which read: "Well, the time has come... I've decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last."

"It's been a wonderful ride, and I'll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all. (If nothing else, it'll keep the clickbait sites busy!)," he added. 

Vanna White and Pat Sajak on set of Wheel of Fortune© Christopher Willard
Vanna White and Pat Sajak on set of Wheel of Fortune

Suzanne Prete, the executive vice president of game shows at Sony Pictures Television, expressed her gratitude for Sajak's remarkable career in a statement in which she acknowledged: "As the host of Wheel of Fortune, Pat has entertained millions of viewers across America for 40 amazing years. We are incredibly grateful and proud to have had Pat as our host for all these years and we look forward to celebrating his outstanding career throughout the upcoming season." 

The 77-year-old will stay on in a consultancy position for three years, bringing his years of expertise and wisdom to help new host Ryan Seacreast; the team and his co-host Vanna White, who will continue on with Ryan. 

"I’m truly humbled to be stepping into the footsteps of the legendary Pat Sajak,” Ryan said in his own statement after he was confirmed as the new host two weeks later.

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