Longtime Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, who revealed earlier this year that he’s been diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer, has vowed to continue while undergoing treatment. In a new interview, Trebek discusses just how terrible the pain has been, while also revealing that he’s been wearing a hairpiece this season.
“This got really bad. I was on the floor writhing in pain,” the 78-year-old Trebek told Jane Pauley in a CBS Sunday Morning interview that will air this weekend. In the interview, held at Trebek’s home, the beloved game show host told Pauley the story of his diagnosis.
Trebek said that he went to the doctor due to stomach pain, at which point doctors discovered a tumor “the size of a small fist.”
Of the pain early in his treatment, Trebek described it as “went from a 3 to an 11… it happened three or four times a day while we were taping. So, that was a little rough on me.” He added that he was able to retreat to his dressing room on most of the occasions that the pain was very bad, but that he was able to get through the taping of most recent season.
The production is currently on a summer hiatus, but Trebek vowed in another interview earlier this month that he plans to be back when production resumes in the fall.
Trebek also revealed to Pauley that, due to hair loss from the treatment, he has been wearing a hairpiece during the most recent tapings of the show. He added that he’s been told that the fake hair on recent episodes has looked better than his real hair.
The host had given his first interview since the diagnosis to Robin Roberts of Good Morning America on May 1, per The Inquisitr. In that interview, Trebek revealed that he had suffered moments of “deep sadness,” of a level that he had not dealt with before, although he was familiar with physical pain from past health woes. Trebek also thanked his friends, family, and fans of the show for their outpouring of support after his diagnosis.
Between sympathy for Trebek and the recent run of success by contestant James Holzhauer, Jeopardy has been on its longest ratings winning streak in years, per Deadline. The game show delivered a 7.5 household rating and 12 million total viewers, which put it ahead of perennial datetime ratings champion Judge Judy. Last week was also Jeopardy‘s most watched week since 2005.