After nearly 30 years as host of ABC’s breakfast gabfest – Live! — veteran broadcaster Regis Philbin announced his retirement from the weekday talk show on Tuesday morning.

Regis, 79, made the announcement of his departure at the start of Live With Regis and Kelly, on which he shares hosting duties with former soap star Kelly Ripa.

“I’ve got one of those announcements to make today. I don’t want to alarm anybody, but I have to tell you this because it’s going to happen. This will be my last year on the show. It’s been 28 years….everything must come to an end for people on camera. Especially for certain old people.”

Ripa looked a little teary-eyed as she reacted to the news of losing her on-screen partner: “I can only speak for America when I say it has been a pleasure and a privilege and a dream come true and I wish I could do something to make you change your mind.”

Philbin — who underwent heart surgery in 2010 — will step down at the end of this summer. Rege did not, however, specify a departure date. A replacement has not been replaced. Reigs is the latest legendary talk show host to announce a departure from the airwaves in 2011, following exiting on-screen gabsters Oprah Winfrey and Larry King.

Are you sad to see Regis go?

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