Alex Trebek Has No Plans to Retire From Jeopardy! Anytime Soon, Says a Coworker

Gillian Telling

Good news, Jeopardy! (and Alex Trebek!) fans.

Contrary to any rumors, the game show’s longtime beloved host isn’t hanging up his hat anytime soon, despite still working to beat pancreatic cancer, with which he was diagnosed last March.

“He has no plans to quit, and is absolutely not announcing his retirement [anytime soon],” says a coworker of Trebek, who had told a CTV News interview in Oct. that he wasn’t sure exactly how much longer he could continue hosting the show, owing to the side effects from chemotherapy.

“We’ll play it by ear and keep chugging along until we either win or lose,” Trebek said at the time.

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But the 79-year-old host, who announced in September that he’d have to undergo a second round of chemotherapy after facing a setback during his treatment, has recently been spotted around Los Angeles enjoying the holiday break and looking as fit as ever.

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On Dec 20, he hosted his annual holiday party for his staffers at Feinstein’s at Vitellos in L.A., where he’d secretly enlisted “American Pie” singer Don McLean, 74, to perform several songs.

“I can officially take this off of my bucket list,” Trebek told the crowd at the event. “This was a real treat for me.”

He also recently taped an ABC special at home with his wife Jean Currivan that will air at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jan. 2, talking with Michael Strahan about both the history of the show and his recent personal health journey.

Beginning on Jan. 7, Trebek will also host the primetime special “Greatest of All Time” tournament, featuring former Jeopardy! champions Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer — and he certainly shows no sign of slowing down when it comes to his regular job of hosting the nightly quiz show.

  • For more on Trebek, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands now

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Last December, several months before his cancer diagnosis, he admitted to People that he didn’t know what he’d do if not for his job, which he’s now done for 36 years and counting.

“What am I gonna do? I’m enjoying myself and I’m having a good time with what I’m doing now,” he said. “If I were to retire, what would I do? I’d be lost.” He added, joking, “My wife would say I’m getting on her nerves because I’m around all the time!”

Jeopardy!: The Greatest of All Time airs Jan. 7 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.