Pat Sajak to step down as host of Wheel of Fortune after more than 40 years | US news

Pat Sajak is taking one last spin on Wheel of Fortune, but then that’s it.

He announced Monday that its upcoming season will be his last as host of the venerable gameshow, a gig he has held for more than four decades.

“Well, the time has come,” Sajak said on Twitter. 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,” the tweet said.

Sajak, 76, has presided over the gameshow, which features contestants guessing letters to try to fill out words and phrases to win money and prizes, since 1981. He took over duties from Chuck Woolery, who was the show’s first host when it debuted in 1975.

Along with Vanna White, who joined the show in 1982, Sajak has been a US television mainstay. The show soon shifted to a syndication and aired in the evening in many markets, becoming one of the history’s most successful gameshows.

Sajak will continue to serve as a Wheel of Fortune consultant for three years after his retirement as host.

“As the host of Wheel of Fortune, Pat has entertained millions of viewers across America for 40 amazing years,” said Suzanne Prete, executive vice-president of gameshows for Sony Pictures Television. “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.”

In recent years, some of Sajak’s banter and chiding of contestants have become fodder for social media. That prompted Sajak to remark in his retirement post about doing another season: “(If nothing else, it’ll keep the clickbait sites busy!)”

The Associated Press contributed reporting.