King bows out after a quarter century as TV royalty
Published 18/12/2010 | 05:00
THE King is gone. Long live the king. After a quarter of a century in the throne of US broadcasting, veteran chat show host Larry King presented the final edition of his long-running CNN programme yesterday.
In a voice choking with emotion, the 77-year-old told his audience: "Thank you, and instead of goodbye, how about so long?"
President Barack Obama paid tribute to the star in a taped message, in which he said his show had "opened our eyes to the world beyond our living rooms".
'Larry King Live' ended a run of more than 6,000 shows and 50,000 interviews.
Former tabloid editor and talent show judge Piers Morgan will take over his coveted time slot in January.
The final edition saw former President Bill Clinton make his 29th appearance on the show, via satellite from Arkansas, while crooner Tony Bennett sang 'The Best is Yet to Come'.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared to announce he had madeDecember 16 "Larry King Day" in his state as US TV stars Ryan Seacrest and Bill Maher joined King in his New York studio.
"This is not Larry's funeral. He's hopefully going to be in our living rooms for a lot of years to come," said comedian Maher, who hosts his own talk show on a rival cable TV network.
"This is the end of a show, not the end of a man," said King. "You're not going to see me go away, but you're not going to see me on this set any more."
The broadcaster has promised to "still be a part of the CNN family", saying he planned to host special one-off programmes.