Mayim Bialik reflects on Mike Richards’ Jeopardy! exit
Mayim Bialik was determined to “help” on ‘Jeopardy!’ however she could after Mike Richards stepped down.
The former ‘Big Bang Theory’ actress was originally hired to host primetime specials and spin-off series of the long-running quiz show, but following the departure of the programme’s other new presenter – who stepped down as host after just nine days after past comments he’d made resurfaced – she was asked to fill in as daytime presenter, and was delighted to do whatever she could for her new “family”.
And Mayim – who will share temporary hosting duties with ‘Jeopardy!’ champion Ken Jennings – insisted she doesn’t “wish ill” on Mike, who was also fired as executive producer on the show.
She wrote in an essay for Newsweek: “I think everyone who works with me will say that, as a person who has been acting since I was a kid, I go where I’m pointed and I do the job I’m told to do. I do what’s in front of me. I don’t really follow the news aspect of my industry too much. That’s how I approached what was going on.
“Of course I was in touch with Mike as he was my boss at that time, and I don’t wish ill on him, or anyone. But the complexity of these situations is not something that can be summed up easily.
“My first response, when all of this went down, was to say to the Jeopardy! team: ‘How can I help?’ Because I am part of this family.”
And the 45-year-old star feels “very honoured” to have the job.
She said: “I feel very honoured to have been given the responsibility and the opportunity to step up into this hosting position. It’s been as dreamy as it was for the two days that I guest hosted.
“I work very long days, but they fly by. We shoot five episodes a day and I get to meet fascinating people from all walks of life.
“Of course, I am grateful and honored to carve out so much of my time on behalf of Jeopardy!, because I feel very connected to the show, the legacy and everything that Alex and the team behind the scenes have built.”
Long-running ‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek passed away in November 2020 after battling cancer, and producers subsequently employed a series of guest hosts until Mike and Mayim were revealed as presenters last month, and the actress admitted she can feel the late presenter’s “presence” on set.
She said: “It probably sounds crazy, but you definitely feel Alex’s presence on that stage.
“As someone who didn’t necessarily grow up with the constant presence of Alex in my living room, I feel him everywhere on that stage and I get to work with people who for decades worked so closely with him and whom he called friends. That’s what feels really special.”
This article originally ran on celebretainment.com.