Vanna White takes over for hospitalized Pat Sajak as Wheel of Fortune host

Pat Sajak and Vanna White attend Harry Friedman being honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 1, 2019 in Hollywood. (David Livingston/Getty Images)

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Vanna White has a new, albeit temporary, gig.

The longtime Wheel of Fortune letter-turner, who has largely remained silent since taking on the job in 1982, will step into the host role after Pat Sajak had emergency surgery.

Wheel of Fortune was forced to pull the plug on taping Thursday after Sajak was hospitalized with a blocked intestine. The 73-year-old, who has been the show’s frontman since ’82, had surgery and is expected to recover.

Sajak will miss two weeks of work, according to TMZ.

In his absence, White will take a turn spinning the big wheel for the first time ever, starting with the episode taped Friday. She had a brief moment as host in 2013, when Sajak had to go backstage to review a contestant’s tape, giving the audience a rare chance to chat with her.

“I try to entertain the audience,” White told the Washington Post in 2013. “They don’t get to hear me talk too much, so I try to give them a little piece of who I am.

“Our viewers are loyal. They’ve seen Pat and me together for 30 years. It’s like Ken and Barbie. How do you break them up?”