Film critic still unable to host TV show

Roger Ebert’s latest surgery did not go as planned.

The Pulitzer-prize winning film critic, 65, had hoped to restore his speech. But he’s recovering and cancer free, he wrote in a letter in Tuesday’s The Chicago Sun-Times, and plans to return to full-time print reviewing later this month after attending his 10th annual Ebertfest film festival at the University of Illinois, which starts April 23.

Another surgery is not in his immediate future. It would be his sixth cancer-related operation.

“But I still have all my other abilities,” he wrote, “including the love of viewing movies and writing about them.”

Meanwhile, Disney/ABC’s weekly review show “Ebert & Roeper” will soldier on without Ebert or his trademark thumbs.

For now Chicago Tribune critic Michael Phillips, who was alternating with the New York Times’ A.O. Scott in recent months, will continue to fill Ebert’s spot on the balcony, confirms one of the show’s producers. This returns the show to two rivals from Chicago’s two daily newspapers.

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