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Pat Sajak Recalls Being Hired On ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ As Ryan Seacrest Is Set To Takeover

With his retirement on the horizon, Pat Sajak is overwhelmed with nostalgia. The beloved game show host recently took a moment to express his heartfelt appreciation to the creator of Wheel of Fortune, Merv Griffin, on his posthumous birthday.

Pat Sajak shared a touching tribute on Twitter to thank Griffin for the opportunity he was given while acknowledging his pivotal role in his career. “Merv Griffin, the creator of Wheel of Fortune, was born on this date in 1925. I owe the man so much, he absolutely defied network executives by insisting on hiring an unknown local TV weatherman to take over his show in 1981,” Sajak wrote in the tweet. “That was me, and I’ve been grateful ever since.”

He had a remarkable career as ‘Wheel of Fortune’ host

WHEEL OF FORTUNE, Pat Sajak, (1994), 1975-. ph: ©Sony Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

In 1981, Sajak was brought on board as the host of Wheel of Fortune, succeeding Chuck Woolery in this coveted role. Over the years, his remarkable contributions to the show have garnered him three Daytime Emmy Awards, solidifying his status as a highly esteemed host. Also, the 76-year-old earned a Guinness World Record for the longest career as the host of a single-game show.

RELATED: Former ‘Jeopardy!’ Champion, James Holzhauer, Roasts’ Wheel of Fortune Over New Host

However, Sajak is set to exit the show as he recently announced his retirement from Wheel of Fortune, effective after the 2023-2024 season. Although the long-time host is bidding farewell to the show, he will continue to contribute his expertise as a consultant for three years, ensuring a smooth transition for the talented Ryan Seacrest, who is stepping into his shoes as the new host.

THE MILLION SECOND QUIZ, Ryan Seacrest, ‘Episode 102’, (Season 1, aired Sept. 11, 2013), 2013-. photo: Will Hart / © NBC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Ryan Seacrest is excited to become the new host

Following the announcement of Sajak’s retirement, Seacrest expressed his enthusiasm and eagerness to take on this new responsibility as the host of the popular show. In a statement to Fox News Digital, he expressed his commitment to upholding the show’s legacy while bringing his unique flair to the beloved game show.

KNOCK KNOCK LIVE, host Ryan Seacrest, ‘Episode One’ (Season 1, ep. 101, aired July 21, 2015). photo: Adam Rose / © Fox / Courtesy: Everett Collection

“I’m truly humbled to be stepping into the footsteps of the legendary Pat Sajak, 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, making us smile every night and feel right at home with them,” Seacrest stated. “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.”

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