Regis Philbin returns to TV as 'Rachael Ray' co-host

9:17 AM, September 18, 2012 |

By Ann Oldenburg

USA TodaRegis Philbin left his co-host gig with Kelly Ripa last year after 28 seasons. Family, friends and stars dropped by to pay tribute. Tears flowed.

And now he's coming back on the air -- with a new partner.

On Monday, the daytime talk show king will be sitting in Rachael Ray's kitchen.

"I tried to make a distinct point that I wasn't retiring, that I was moving on," he says a tad defensively in a phone call interview on Monday. "Everybody said 'retired'!"

Philbin, 81, who exited "Live! with Regis and Kelly" in November with that sweet farewell, says he has been doing just fine.

"I feel terrific! I've enjoyed my time."|FRONTPAGE|p