Staying on Wheel of Fortune wasn’t an easy decision for Vanna White.
After he announced his retirement, the longtime game show hostess admits she considered following in her trusty sidekick Pat Sajak’s footsteps.
As Monsters and Critics previously reported, Pat revealed that this season of Wheel of Fortune will be his last.
Next year, Ryan Seacrest will take over as the host of Wheel of Fortune when Season 41 ends.
In the meantime, Vanna has decided to stay on board and will join Ryan in 2024, but admittedly, it wasn’t a choice that came easily to her.
Vanna told PEOPLE that retiring, like Pat did, was something she strongly considered.
Vanna White admits it was a ‘very hard’ decision to stay on Wheel of Fortune following Pat Sajak’s departure
“It’s like, ‘Well, wait, if you’re leaving, what am I going to do? How can I stay without you?’ It was a very hard decision for me to make because it definitely crossed my mind,” Vanna dished.
“It’s like, ‘I just don’t know if I can do this without you,’ but I thought about it, and I’m not ready to retire, so I am staying on,” Vanna added.
Now that Vanna has decided to stick it out for at least a couple more years on Wheel of Fortune, how does the veteran tile-turner feel about having Ryan as her new co-host?
The 66-year-old says she thinks Ryan will be a good co-host.
“I know Ryan — he is professional, good at what he does, kind. I think it’s going to be good. He’s such a nice guy, and he loves what he does.”
But according to Vanna, Ryan doesn’t plan on “replacing” Pat because, as far as he’s concerned, “No one can ever replace him.”
At the end of the day, Vanna is “looking forward” to working with her new co-host, Ryan, but in the meantime, she’s focusing on her last season with her longtime friend and co-host, Pat.
Vanna says Pat Sajak leaving Wheel of Fortune will be ‘bittersweet’
“We are going to be doing some incredible stuff to say goodbye to Pat at the end of the season,” Vanna teased of Pat’s 41st and final season with Wheel of Fortune.
And although Vanna is looking forward to commemorating Pat’s legacy on Wheel of Fortune, she also admits that it will be “very sad” and “bittersweet.”
After working together for 41 years, Vanna and Pat have become close and know a lot about each other, making their final season together much harder.
“It definitely is bittersweet, but he’s decided to retire, and I have to accept that,” Vanna said.
Wheel of Fortune airs weeknights on ABC.