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Fame & Fortune: Regis Philbin

Bankrate: You'll be receiving a lifetime achievement award at the Daytime Emmys. What are your feelings about that?

Regis Philbin: The truth? I've been around a long time now and I've seen these awards go to real giants in our business, and I just don't feel like I'm one of them.

Bankrate: When you heard that you were going to receive a lifetime achievement award, did it feel premature?

Regis Philbin: Well, I said to David Letterman the other night, this is when they tell you, "Leave! You've been around long enough!" But I was only kidding, I hope. I'm gonna be around. I'm gonna stay longer. But it is nice to pick it up on the way to wherever I'm going.

Bankrate: You've been co-hosting "Live ... " for about 20 years now, and been doing shows like this for about 40. What is the key to succeeding on a show of this sort?

Regis Philbin: Well, a show of this sort depends on your relationship and the chemistry you develop with your co-host. I've had about six different co-hosts, and all of them have their own personalities. It's a matter of getting involved in their lives and getting to know them, but not really knowing them that much, so that you're not surprised by what they're saying.

I never talk to any of them before the show begins. Whatever conversation we have mainly happens right there in the 20 minutes we have for host chat. So I think you've gotta keep that area fresh, and you don't do that by hanging out after the show and going to lunch and dinner and all that.

Once in a while I do that, but for the most part I wanna be surprised when she tells me something, and I want her to be surprised when I tell her what I did last night or what's going on in my life. That freshness is the key to the whole relationship.

Bankrate: Are there ever times where you regret something you say on the air?

Regis Philbin: No, but today, because I went to the "Sex and the City" premiere last night, Kelly said, "what was Joy (my wife) wearing?" And I couldn't think! So I did catch a little flack about that after the show. I just couldn't come up with it, Larry! There were so many women around, such goings on, it really was a very lively premiere, and the after-premiere party was terrific, too. So I couldn't think for a minute, Larry. Forgive me.

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Bankrate: Well, it's not me who has to forgive you. Now, will you be hosting the red carpet coverage for the Oscars this year?

Regis Philbin: They haven't asked me for this year. I think they make those decisions when they get closer to the Oscars. But I did do it last year after about 30 years of not doing it, and it was a lot of fun. Brought back a lot of memories.

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