“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, who is battling pancreatic cancer, may be forced to leave the show sooner than he would like.
In a sit-down interview with Canada’s CTV News, Trebek revealed that he is starting to lose control over his tongue, causing him to slur his words. He said, “I will keep doing it as long as my skills do not diminish, and they have started to diminish.”
He added about his inability to enunciate, “I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving. But there will come a point when [fans and producers] will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s okay.’”
For now, Trebek “can always suck it up when it comes to tape the show,” despite feeling weakness in his body.
As for the possibility of dying, Trebek said, “I’m not afraid of dying. I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life… if it happens, why should I be afraid that?”
The 79-year-old also opened up about his funeral wishes, saying, “One thing they’re not going to say at my funeral, as a part of a eulogy, is, ‘He was taken from us too soon.’”
Alex is staying positive while undergoing another round of chemotherapy. He shared, “I’m hanging in. So we’re back on the chemo and we’ll see if the numbers go down. And if they do… they can’t keep doing [chemo] forever, of course. They’ll have to find a new protocol or whatever to administer. We’ll play it by ear and keep chugging along until we either win or lose.”
Last month on "Good Morning America," Alex explained why he had to go through more chemo, saying, “I lost about 12 lbs. in a week, and my numbers went sky-high, much higher than they were when I was first diagnosed. So, the doctors have decided that I have to undergo chemo again, and that's what I'm doing."
Trebek, who is working on the 36th season of “Jeopardy!”, was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March.
At the time, he said in a video, “I’m going to fight this. I’m going to keep working and with the love and support of my family and friends and your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate.”
The famously funny host even joked, “Truth told, I have to because under the terms of my contract, I have to host ‘Jeopardy’ for three more years, so help me. Keep the faith and we’ll win.”
Trebek hadn’t lost his sense of humor while fighting cancer. In a recent interview with "CBS Sunday Morning,” he revealed that his chemotherapy treatments have made him lose his hair. As a result, the 78-year-old has been wearing a hairpiece while shooting "Jeopardy!" He shared, “And so what the challenge for 'Jeopardy!' viewers is right now is to figure out, 'Is that Alex's real hair or is that a full hairpiece?' Because they all know that when you start chemo, you lose your hair. So, which is it?"