(LOS ANGELES) — Jeopardy! super champ Ken Jennings is normally the expert at handling pressure, but that’s exactly what he’ll be feeling when he temporarily takes over hosting duties following the death of longtime Jeopardy! host, Alex Trebek.
“It’s nerve-wracking to know the legacy and the size of the shoes you’re filling,” Jennings tells E! Online.
“Just to be frank, nobody wants me there. I don’t want me there,” he continues. “We all want to see Alex there for 100 years in a perfect world and, you know, I really just wanted to do the best I could so as not to let him down and Jeopardy! viewers down, so I felt a lot of pressure.”
Fortunately, he was able to get some expert advice from the master himself before his death back in November.
“I actually talked to him on the phone the same weekend he passed,” he recalls. “We had talked about the possibility of me guest hosting for him at some point and he was so sweet.”
Adds Jennings, “He was thanking me very genuinely for helping out and I was like, ‘Alex, you gave us 37 years. We should be thanking you. It’s the least I could do."”
As for how Trebek might rate his performance, Ken says, “I think he would have some serious words on stuff I needed to work on — hopefully a C+.”
Jennings will take over as guest host starting on Monday. A successor for Trebek has yet to be officially announced.
By George Costantino
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