Longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek announced Wednesday he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Trebek announced the news himself in a YouTube video, saying he has a “longtime policy of being open and transparent” with fans of the show, and to prevent people “from reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health.”
“Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer,” the 78-year-old Trebek said. “Now normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this and I’m going to keep working. And with the love and support of my family and friends, and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.
“Truth told, I have to, because under the terms of my contract, I have to host `Jeopardy@’ for three more years,” he joked. “So help me. Keep the faith and we’ll win. We’ll get it done. Thank you.”
A native of Canada and father of two, Trebek has hosted the syndicated answers-and-questions quiz show since 1984.
Ken Jennings, who holds the record for the longest winning streak on “Jeopardy!,” took to Twitter after hearing the news.
“I’ve said this before but Alex Trebek is in a way the last Cronkite: authoritative, reassuring TV voice you hear every night, almost to the point of ritual,” he wrote. “One thing I know for a fact: Alex is very aware of how much he means to millions of people, and how we will be pulling for him … I hope that’s a comfort.”
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