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‘Jeopardy!’ pays tribute to Alex Trebek in poignant message

"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek speaks as he is inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame during the NAB Achievement in Broadcasting Dinner at the Encore Las Vegas on April 9, 2018 in Las Vegas. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — “Jeopardy!” paid tribute to Alex Trebek on Monday in a poignant message that celebrated the show’s longtime, unflappable host of 37 years.

The day after Trebek died at age 80 following a battle with cancer, the show’s executive producer, Mike Richards addressed viewers from the “Jeopardy!” set in a taped introduction.

“Over the weekend we lost our beloved host, Alex Trebek. This is an enormous loss for our staff, for our crew, for his family, for his millions of fans,” said Richards. “He loved this show and everything it stood for.”

Richards said Trebek taped his final episodes less than two weeks ago. Beginning Monday, those last shows hosted by Trebek are set to air through Dec. 25.

“He will forever be an inspiration for his constant desire to learn, for his kindness and for his love of his family,” said Richards. “We will air his final 35 episodes as they were shot. That’s what he wanted. On behalf of everyone here at ‘Jeopardy!’ thank you for everything, Alex.”

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Richards concluded with the show’s trademark opening — “This is ‘Jeopardy!’” — which was followed by a moment of silence on the ”Jeopardy!” set with lights dimmed.

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