Philbin will be rockin’ on New Year’s Eve

Talkshow host subbing for Clark, joining 'Apprentice'

TV’s utility player, Regis Philbin, lived up to his reputation again Monday, signing on to fill in as chief reveler for “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” as well as co-host of this week’s “The Apprentice” finale.

Philbin agreed to take over for Clark after the world’s oldest teenager had a mild stroke last week (Daily Variety, Dec. 9). Clark had hoped to recover in time for this year’s show, which he has hosted every year since 1972.

“It’ll feel strange watching it on TV, but my doctors felt it was too soon,” Clark said. “I’m sure Regis will do a great job, and I’m thankful that he was able to step in on such short notice.”

Philbin, who’ll be stationed live in Times Square, called his New Year’s Eve duties “the greatest temp job in the world.”

Ashlee Simpson hosts the studio portions of “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” which begins at 10 p.m. Dec. 31 and continues in latenight.

Philbin, meanwhile, also will co-host the live portion of NBC’s three-hour “Apprentice” finale on Dec. 16, along with star Donald Trump. Telecast, which will originate from Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, follows the appointment of one of the show’s two finalists, Jennifer Massey and Kelly Perdew, as Trump’s next “apprentice.”

“He is a legend in the business, and I personally invited him to join me in hosting ‘The Apprentice’ three-hour finale,” Trump said.

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