Wendy Williams extends hiatus through November; Bill Bellamy, others to guest host
It remains unknown whether Williams will return to her daytime talk show before year’s end.
Several of Wendy Williams’ celebrity pals will fill in as guest hosts of her daytime talk show as she continues to take time off to focus on her health.
Williams, 57, is battling complications from the autoimmune disorder Graves’ disease. Additionally, the veteran talk show host experienced a breakthrough case of COVID-19, and also received a psychological evaluation at a New York hospital, theGRIO reported. Producers have tapped a slew of A-listers to fill in through Nov. 19, according to Page Six.
Michael Rapaport will host the week of Nov. 8, then comedian Bill Bellamy will take over for two days; Jerry Springer will guest co-host with Steve Wilkos.
“I have always loved being a guest on my friend Wendy’s show!” Bellamy said in a statement released Wednesday. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be here for her, and I look forward to working with her amazing team.”
It remains unknown whether Williams will return to the show before year’s end.
“She is making progress, but is experiencing serious complications as a direct result of Graves’ disease and her thyroid condition,” a statement from the production company, Debmar-Mercury, explained. “It has been determined that more time is needed before she is able to return to her live hosting duties.”
The 13th season of The Wendy Williams Show was slated to kick off on Sept. 20, but was pushed back several times amid Williams’ battle with COVID-19 and reported hospitalization for a mental-health evaluation in September.
As previously reported by theGRIO, show staffers say they’re looking forward to working with the temporary hosts.
“We look forward to having both of these talented and entertaining women in the ‘Wendy’ studio as guest hosts in the upcoming weeks,” said David Perler, one of The Wendy Williams Show’s executive producers. “We can’t wait to see what they have in store for our viewers!”
The new season premiered on Oct. 18, with guest hosts Devyn Simone, Bevy Smith, Elizabeth Wagmeister, Michael Yo, and Leah Remini filled in for four days.
Last month, Whitney Cummings hosted the week of Oct. 25, and Sherri Shepherd helmed the first week of November.
“Nobody can ever replace Wendy, but we will do what we can to fill in so she can come back stronger than ever. She’s gone so hard for so long and as much as I miss seeing her every day, just imagine how hilarious she’s gonna be after some time to take care of herself and have some quiet time to think!” Cummings wrote in the comments of an Instagram post from the show.
“We all wanna make Wendy proud,” she added.
Wendy’s brother, Thomas Williams, Jr., shared a statement on his official YouTube channel regarding his sister’s recovery, theGrio previously reported. He said, “I did speak with Wendy; she’s stabilized, she’s doing alright. You know, I can’t give all the blow by blows. I told her I’ll never proceed her voice through the show. But I do thank you all for all the kind words. I really do believe and have the faith that Wendy’s going to make it.”
He continued, “It’s not an easy fight. It’s not one that individuals always win. Sadly, come November, we are on the anniversary of my mother passing. It’s not easy. This isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. But she’s doing well; she’s stable, I have spoken with her. We are hanging in there.”