09/19/2012 05:00 pm ET

Regis Philbin Starts Monthly 'Rachael Ray' Gig After 'Waiting For The Right Opportunity'

Regis Philbin returned to TV on Wednesday, taping his first co-hosting gig with Rachael Ray. The show will air on Monday and, judging by the response of the studio audience, expect to see him back in the kitchen soon.

“He said he wasn’t retiring when he left Kelly,” a show insider said. “He was just waiting for the right opportunity to come along and finally it did.”

Philbin, who holds the Guinness World Record for the "Most Hours on U.S. Television,” has guest-starred on "Hot in Cleveland’ and even guest-hosted the fourth hour of the "Today" show since leaving "Live! With Regis and Kelly," now called "Live! With Kelly and Michael." But he now has a permanent gig with Ray at least once a month.

“He’s more like a funny uncle who is on the set with Rachael chatting and making funny comments rather than a traditional type of co-host,” said one source who was at the first taping Wednesday.

“He’s a natural when it comes to TV and the chemistry they have together is great. Who knows? Maybe we will convince him to stop by once a week or maybe every day.”


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