Regis Philbin retiring from "Live with Regis and Kelly!"

LOS ANGELES Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:18pm EST

1 of 2. Regis Philbin speaks at the 'Television Critics Association' summer 2006 media tour in Pasadena, July 21, 2006.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Regis Philbin said on Tuesday he was retiring from his morning TV show "Live! with Regis and Kelly" after 28 years with the program.

"There is a time that everything must come to an end," Philbin told viewers, in a surprise on-air announcement.

Philbin, 79, said this will be his last year with the show, and that he will leave sometime between the end of the U.S. summer and fall. He did not say who would replace him.

"We'll have a lot of fun between now and then," he said.

Philbin is the Guinness World Record holder for most time on camera, with more than 16,500 hours accumulated over his entire career.

The TV personality has co-hosted "Live!" with Kelly Ripa since 2001, after previously appearing on the show with Kathie Lee Gifford. The show began in 1983 when Philbin created "The Morning Show" for WABC in his native New York City. Gifford joined him in 1985 and in 1988 the program gained national syndication.

He also hosted the hit gameshow "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" when it debuted in the United States in 1999.

Philbin is known for his Bronx accent and quick wit. Early on in his career, Philbin appeared in the 1960s talk show "The Joey Bishop Show," as a sidekick to the show's star.

In 2001, he won a Daytime Emmy for his work on "Live! with Regis" and another Emmy for outstanding game show host for "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire." He also received a lifetime achievement Daytime Emmy award in 2008.

"Live! with Regis and Kelly" is distributed by Disney-ABC Television Group, a division of Walt Disney Co.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis, editing by Christine Kearney)