Ailing Wendy Williams ‘will NEVER return’ to her talk show as Sherri Shepherd is ‘frontrunner to officially take over’
WENDY Williams will "never" return to her talk show, as fan favorite Sherri Shepherd is the frontrunner to officially take over as host, The Sun can exclusively report.
A source said that production will announce early next year that Wendy, 57, is permanently leaving her purple chair after suffering from serious health issues.
Just as The Wendy Williams Show announced that fan favorite Sherri will be the fill-in to host for the final weeks before the holiday break, a source told The Sun that the unofficial new motto is “new year, new show.”
While RadarOnline reported Wendy’s production company is looking for a replacement host, a source added to The Sun that the job is “Sherri’s to lose. She is the number one choice.”
Leah Remini is guest hosting for two weeks, followed by Sherri-and the show insider called these upcoming stretches "auditions."
The source continued: “The deal will be done in the next few weeks and announced in January.
"Sherri is the frontrunner, and staff think it's all but a done deal with her."
The Sun previously reported that The Nick Cannon Show was possibly going to slide into Wendy’s time slot, but the source said Nick's ratings have been on the decline, while Wendy’s numbers are going up in spite of her longtime absence.
HEALTH RUMORS SWIRLING
While The Wendy Williams Show's Instagram has released several explanations as to why the 57-year-old host hasn’t returned to her purple chair, reports began to circulate over the weekend that she has been suffering from the effects of early onset dementia.
However, Wendy's younger brother Tommy, 54, exclusively told The Sun earlier this week that his famous sister has not been “displaying that type of behavior" to the family.
He said: “We haven't had any alerts like that and I haven't seen anything like that or have had conversations with her that would lead me to believe that.
“We routinely go up and check on Wendy even though we're all down here in Florida.
“I try to make it up there and my dad speaks with Wendy frequently.
"So no, we don't have any concerns concerning her mental state. It’s all physical."
Wendy has previously revealed she suffers from thyroid disorder Graves' Disease and lymphedema, which gives her swollen ankles and makes it difficult for her to walk even two blocks.
She has also admitted in the past to struggling with alcoholism and substance abuse, and last checked into rehab in 2019.
Back in September, The Sun was first to report that police received a 911 call from Wendy’s Manhattan building at 8 am about a “57-year-old female in need of psychiatric services.”
The Sun later reported that the TV personality had been “struggling with addiction” leading up to her hospitalization.
“Wendy was drinking every day, even while filming the show,” an insider previously revealed to The Sun.
As the daytime diva's health complications continued, the popular program was postponed from its original return date of September 20, and eventually aired with a rotating cast of guest hosts.
FANS RAVING OVER SHERRI
While The Wendy Williams Show has seen a number of guests hosts in recent weeks, fans have raved over Sherri Shepherd's turn in the role.
Fans demanded that Sherri, 54, permanently replace Wendy as the host of the talk show after she made quite the impression during her duties the week of November 1.
Among all of the guest-hosted episodes, The View alum earned the show’s highest ratings this season.
The Wendy Williams Show landed a 0.9 rating for Sherri’s week, according to The Wrap.
The host took to Instagram on November 8 to break her silence and tell her fans: "As everyone knows, my health has been a hot topic. I’m making progress but it’s just one of those things that’s taking longer than we expected.
"I’m a woman of a certain age, and I know enough to listen to my doctors and will return to my purple chair as soon as we all agree I’m ready."
"I want to thank all of my staff and our guest hosts for stepping up and stepping in while I can’t be there.
"I also want to thank Debmar-Mercury and our stations for being so understanding and supportive while I work my way back.
"Most of all, I want to thank my fans. I have heard your prayers and comments and feel all the love! You are everything to me.
"I love spending my mornings with you all and I’m doing everything I can to get back to work, but right now Wendy has to focus on Wendy. I love you for watching."
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