Ryan Seacrest is excited to work with Vanna White, whose contract has been renewed through 2026.
Vanna White is returning to Wheel of Fortune for at least two years after Pat Sajak’s departure, and nobody is as happy about that as incoming host Ryan Seacrest. Speaking with Sunday Today With Willie Geist, he praised White, thanking her for staying on board and expressing excitement to work with her. While White has been on board with Wheel since the 1980s, there was some doubt that she would come back. White herself didn’t seem particularly happy with the situation, lawyering up back in June amid reports she was unhappy with her pay.
Seacrest will take over from Sajak in 2024. Sajak and his cohost White have been with the series since the early 1980s, with former Los Angeles weatherman Sajak taking over from original series host Chuck Woolery in 1981, and White joining in 1982.
“This is such great news,” Seacrest, 48, told Willie Geist in the “Sunday Sitdown” segment of the talk show (as reported by Deadline). “Vanna has been such a staple on that show and in our living rooms for so many years. I have been very excited to work with her, but now that it’s official I can say, ‘Congratulations Vanna! I can’t wait.’ “
The incoming host joked that while he’s obviously a veteran TV presenter, White’s knowledge of Wheel of Fortune in particular will be something he leans on heavily, joking that if there’s ever a question, he’ll just ask her and do whatever she says.
“She’s beloved by this country and by the viewers and I can’t even imagine standing next to her on that set being able to say, ‘Okay, let’s get to it.’ It’s great news,” Seacrest continued. “I’m very, very happy to hear it and very happy I’ll be able to work with her.”
Seacrest hosted Gladiators 2000, an American Gladiators spinoff, from 1994 until 1996, and became a household name in the early 2000s as a co-host of American Idol. After a decade there, he expanded his career, becoming the host of Live With Kelly & Ryan in 2017. In between, he took over from TV legend Dick Clark as the host of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. One of the most recognizable broadcaster in North America, Seacrest has also been part of NBC’s Olympics coverage and helped beloved newsman Larry King end his show.