It’s going to be strange not seeing “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek at the podium anymore, but thankfully the quiz show’s upcoming episodes will be led by a familiar face who loved Trebek as much as we do.
Renowned former contestant Ken Jennings, who won the show’s ‘Greatest Of All Time’ title last year, has stepped up to the plate as the first of several interim guest hosts greeting audiences starting Nov. 30, producers announced on Monday.
“Alex believed in the importance of ‘Jeopardy!’ and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him ... By bringing in familiar guest hosts for the foreseeable future, our goal is to create a sense of community and continuity for our viewers,” executive Producer Mike Richards said in a statement provided to Rolling Stone.
Jennings himself shared the news by acknowledging he had big shoes to fill, as Trebek had given a lifetime of wonderful on-air moments over the seasons.
There will only ever be one Alex Trebek, but I'm honored to be helping Jeopardy! out with this in January. https://t.co/2m2b5IQnkw
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) November 23, 2020
The show and Trebek’s legacy means the world to the champion player, who came on as a consultant for the series in September.
When he retired from playing, Jennings said there was no topping his 74-game win streak without Trebek at the wheel, saying: “At some point Alex is going to retire, I assume, and it just wouldn’t feel right to play with a different host. It’d be like cheating on Alex. I think this is a perfect time to go out on top.”
And following news of Trebek’s passing, Jennings was among many who shared how much the Canadian meant to him.
Alex wasn’t just the best ever at what he did. He was also a lovely and deeply decent man, and I’m grateful for every minute I got to spend with him. pic.twitter.com/CdHCcbqmp2
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) November 8, 2020
Variety reports that Jennings has been a long-time favourite for succeeding Trebek as “Jeopardy!’s” permanent host, followed by media personalities Anderson Cooper and George Stephanopoulos.
The memories Trebek gave us are irreplaceable, but knowing someone like Jennings will carry on his role for the next while is definitely worth tuning in for.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost Canada and has been updated.