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Dick Clark New Year's Eve 2012: Host Celebrates 40 Years Of 'New Year's Rockin' Eve'

Dick Clark New Years

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 12/30/11 05:29 PM ET Updated: 01/04/12 06:13 PM ET

Dick Clark has become synonymous with New Year's Eve, so it's no surprise the renowned television host is back to ring in 2012 and celebrate the 40th anniversary of his iconic program, "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve."

Clark will once again make an appearance alongside Ryan Seacrest on the annual ABC special, set to air beginning at 10 p.m. EST on Dec. 31.

Seacrest has been co-hosting the extravaganza since 2005, the year after Clark suffered a stroke that impaired his speech, according to People magazine.

Friend and fellow television host Regis Philbin filled in for Clark in 2004, CNN reports.

But since then, health troubles haven't stopped the indefatigable 82-year-old Clark from taking an active role in his show's production.

"This is very important to him. This is one of his children," producer Larry Klein told the Associated Press.

Saturday's program will recap highlights from the last 40 years of the show.

"The army of talent we had join us over the years has truly been outstanding, and this year we top it off with an appearance by Lady Gaga," Clark told ABC. "'New Year's Rockin' Eve 2012' promises to be one of the most exciting ever, and I'm proud to be part of the team."

In an email interview with USA Today, Clark said he's hosted a number of memorable New Year's Eve celebrations, but he called festivities following the Sept. 11 attacks "the most nerve-racking."

As for Seacrest, the longtime "American Idol" host has no problem sharing the spotlight with the man he watched on television as a child.

"He still runs the show. He'll make as many appearances as he wants, and I kind of just stand there and take the ball when he passes it," Seacrest told ABC News.

With temperatures forecast to be in the 40s, a record crowd of nearly one million people are expected to gather in Times Square to watch the ball make its iconic descent.

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