Vanna White is speaking out on taking on hosting duties on Wheel of Fortune. The longtime co-host has worked on the game show for more than 30 years along with Pat Sajak, and will host episode starting Monday for some time after her longtime colleague was forced to take a break from filming. Sajak underwent emergency surgery in early November for a blocked intestine. White said in an interview with Good Morning America Friday she was "scared to death."
"It was horrible, just horrible," she recalled of getting the news of Sajak's medical emergency. "We've been together 37 years, and it's not the same — we are a team. We're together. It just felt weird with him not being here on the set."
"You think the worst, because you never know when you're going in for surgery. You never know what's going to happen," she added.
White said she started to feel better once Sajak's wife called to say he was making jokes after the surgery. The television personality then recalled the moment she was asked to take over as host during her friend's absence. "I was like, 'What? No. You're kidding, right?' He goes, 'No, I'm serious,'" she remembered. "And my first thought was, 'There's no way.' I don't pay attention to Pat."
"I'm busy with my letters and my puzzle board," she added with a laugh. "I mean, I'm hearin' him, but I don't really pay that much attention."
She said that once she stepped up to the plate to film, "I was petrified, terrified. But I did it." Good Morning America reports White will host the show for three weeks while Sajak fully recovered from his procedure.
"I was so nervous," she said. "I'm shaking now, because I remember the feeling of, 'How am I gonna do this?'"
White also opened up about how she felt hosting the show full-time, including the grueling task of spinning the wheel.
"[You] have to be aware of everything that's going on, where before all I had to worry about was letters," she said in the interview. "Now I have to carry the whole show, I have to talk to all three players and make sure I get their scores right."
"Those three weeks without him was very hard. I really missed him," she said. "I just can't imagine doing this show without him, you know? And I hope he feels the same with me."
Sajak is already back at work, with the longtime TV host revealing on Twitter he was back in the studio on Dec. 5.
"Even though the shows I missed haven't started airing (they begin next week), I'm happy to say that I'm back in the studio taping today. It's been four weeks since my 'episode,' but it feels longer. Nice to be back."