Jeopardy host Alex Trebek on medical leave, plans to return 'very soon'

Jeopardy television game show host Alex Trebek speaks on stage during the 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Beverly Hills, California June 16, 2013.
Jeopardy television game show host Alex Trebek speaks on stage during the 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Beverly Hills, California June 16, 2013.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Jeopardy host Alex Trebek is taking a break from taping episodes of the US television quiz show to recover from surgery to remove blood clots on the brain, he said in a video message released on Thursday (Jan 4).

"The prognosis is excellent and I expect to be back in the studio taping more 'Jeopardy' programs very, very soon," Trebek, seated in what appeared to be a living room, said in the video.

The syndicated program Jeopardy is viewed by 23 million people each week, making it the top-rated quiz show on US television.

Trebek's medical leave of absence is not expected to affect the broadcast schedule for the show, which is taped months in advance. The only change will be to the program's College Championship, which will air in April, the Jeopardy show said in a statement. It had previously been set for broadcast in February.

Trebek, 77, fell and hit his head in October, the statement said, and was admitted on Dec 15 to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles due to complications from the fall. He underwent surgery to remove a subdural hematoma on Dec 16 and spent Christmas at home with his family, the statement said.

Trebek, who is from a nickel-mining town in Ontario, Canada, suffered a heart attack in 2012 and was hospitalised for another in 2007.

Jeopardy is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a division of Sony, and distributed by a division of CBS.