LeVar Burton wants to host 'Jeopardy!' permanently, he says
In an exclusive interview with “The View,” actor LeVar Burton shared his excitement over guest hosting “Jeopardy!” this summer and the possibility of becoming the next permanent host.
After the death of longtime host Alex Trebek, fans wondered how the show would go on without him and who would fill his shoes. Soon, fans of the former “Reading Rainbow” host soon began a petition on the site Change.org calling for him to become the new host.
“It’s such a wonderful feeling to be at the center of that much grace,” Burton told “The View” co-hosts Monday morning.
With over 250,000 signatures on the petition, Burton is included in the final group of guest hosts to close out “Jeopardy!”‘s 37th season, which includes “Good Morning America” co-anchors Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos.
Upon the announcement of upcoming hosts, Burton thanked his followers for their support.
“THANK YOU… to all y’all for your passionate support! I am overjoyed, excited, and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy!, and will do my utmost best to live up to your faith you in me,” he wrote on Twitter. “YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE! Go ahead and take my word for it, this time.”
Burton has been vocal on social media about his high regard for “Jeopardy!” and wanting to be a part of the show, which he was when he won celebrity “Jeopardy!” in 1995. In 2013, he tweeted that his “dream job” would be to host the show.
“The View” co-host Joy Behar asked Burton if he’s officially throwing his hat into the ring to be permanent host.
“Absolutely,” Burton responded. “More than anything, I’m eager to put my skills up against those of anyone else in contention and then let the chips fall where they may.”
“The important thing for me is that I have an opportunity to compete for the job,” he continued. “That’s all I ever really wanted.”
Along with the successful petition for the “Roots” and “Star Trek” star to succeed Trebek, celebrities such as Stephen Colbert, Dick Van Dyke, Yvette Nicole Brown and more rallied around the campaign.
As part of each guest host’s appearance, a donation will be made to a charity of their choice. The amount donated will equal the cumulative winnings of the contestants that compete during the week they serve as guest host.
“Our goal has been to present a wide variety of guest hosts with different skill sets and backgrounds on our path to finding a permanent host,” executive producer of “Jeopardy!” Mike Richards said in a statement Wednesday. “Our passionate fans are telling us what they like, and we are listening.”
“Jeopardy!” airs every Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. on ABC. Burton will host from July 26 to July 30.
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