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Ken Jennings shares the touching gift he was given by Alex Trebek’s widow one year after his death


It’s been one year since Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek passed away after a hard fought battle with pancreatic cancer.

To honor the beloved television star, guest host and quiz show GOAT, Ken Jennings, shared a touching story about a small piece of Alex that he keeps with him every time he steps on the stage.

Ken revealed in a video that Trebek’s wife Jean gifted him with a pair of Alex’s very own cuff links on his first day guest hosting the long running game show.

One year later: On the first anniversary of Alex Trebek’s death, Ken Jennings shared the touching gift he was given by his widow Jean, in a new video out Monday

‘I miss Alex a lot,’ Ken said in a video released by Jeopardy! on YouTube on the one year anniversary of Alex’s death. ‘When I’m here, I feel like he’s probably in the building somewhere. It’s hard not to talk about him in the present tense.’

Jennings, who holds the records for most consecutive game wins on Jeopardy! with and the show’s ‘Greatest Of All Time’ title, has been guest hosting the series this season alongside several others. 

‘The first day I came in to guest host was just a few weeks after Alex had passed and it was a really rough time,’ Jennings went on to say in the video. 

‘I got to the studio and one of the producers handed me a little box and Alex’s wife, Jean, had given me a pair of his cuff links that he had worn on the show. What a lovely gesture that was from Jean,’ he continued.

'The first day I came in to guest host was just a few weeks after Alex had passed and it was a really rough time,' Jennings went on to say in the video.

‘The first day I came in to guest host was just a few weeks after Alex had passed and it was a really rough time,’ Jennings went on to say in the video. 

'I got to the studio and one of the producers handed me a little box and Alex's wife, Jean, had given me a pair of his cuff links that he had worn on the show. What a lovely gesture that was from Jean,' he continued.

‘I got to the studio and one of the producers handed me a little box and Alex’s wife, Jean, had given me a pair of his cuff links that he had worn on the show. What a lovely gesture that was from Jean,’ he continued.

'My Alex Trebek cuff links are the only cuff links I own,' said Jennings. 'They're kind of a good luck charm for me here.'

‘My Alex Trebek cuff links are the only cuff links I own,’ said Jennings. ‘They’re kind of a good luck charm for me here.’

Jean and Alex had been married for 30 years at the time of his death and the Canadian TV host spent his final days with his beloved wife.  

‘You know, at a time that was very hard for her family, dealing with a lot of grief and a lot of challenges, she thought about Jeopardy! and she thought about me, a person she had never even met,’ Ken reflected in the video. ‘And I just thought, ‘What a lovely thing to do. She’s fantastic.’  

He added: ‘My Alex Trebek cuff links are the only cuff links I own,’ said Jennings. ‘They’re kind of a good luck charm for me here.’  

Alex Trebek, who had helmed Jeopardy! since 1984, was filming new episodes up until a month before his passing. His final episodes aired posthumously in December 2020.

'You know, at a time that was very hard for her family, dealing with a lot of grief and a lot of challenges, she thought about Jeopardy! and she thought about me, a person she had never even met,' Ken reflected in the video. 'And I just thought, 'What a lovely thing to do. She's fantastic.'

‘You know, at a time that was very hard for her family, dealing with a lot of grief and a lot of challenges, she thought about Jeopardy! and she thought about me, a person she had never even met,’ Ken reflected in the video. ‘And I just thought, ‘What a lovely thing to do. She’s fantastic.’

Leading the show: Jennings, who holds the records for most consecutive game wins on Jeopardy! with and the show's 'Greatest Of All Time' title, has been guest hosting the series this season alongside several others

Leading the show: Jennings, who holds the records for most consecutive game wins on Jeopardy! with and the show’s ‘Greatest Of All Time’ title, has been guest hosting the series this season alongside several others

On January 11th, Ken Jennings stepped as Jeopardy!’s first guest host in what would become a revolving door of hosts through 2021.

Prior to that, Jennings officially became part of the show’s team in 2020 with his own category of clues. 

Earlier this year, Sony announced that Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards would permanently replace Alex, sharing duties with actress Mayim Bialik who would host special tournaments. 

Mike Richards, who was pulling double-duty as executive producer and host on Jeopardy! and executive producer of Wheel of Fortune, was quickly ousted from all three gigs in September after distasteful remarks he made in 2014 mocking women, Jews, and Haiti came to light – as well as resurfaced sexual harassment lawsuits.

Producers then revealed Bialik and Jennings would be sharing hosting duties for the remainder of season 38 after Richards’ spectacular flame out amid scandal.

A mess: Earlier this year, Sony announced that Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards would permanently replace Alex, sharing duties with actress Mayim Bialik who would host special tournaments however Richards was ousted in a cloud of scandal

A mess: Earlier this year, Sony announced that Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards would permanently replace Alex, sharing duties with actress Mayim Bialik who would host special tournaments however Richards was ousted in a cloud of scandal 

DailyMail.com previously reported exclusively that the production team behind Jeopardy! wants Bialik to be named permanent host and Michael Davies as executive producer.

Mayim, who is described as ‘gracious, warm and smart’, is a natural fit for the quiz show both on and off camera and is creating a calm environment befitting the legacy of Alex Trebek, according to multiple production insiders.

Following the ‘traumatic’ catastrophe of Mike Richards’ short-lived stint as Alex’s replacement, the crew is pulling for Sony to stop ‘dragging its feet’ and officially lock in the 45-year-old actress for the coveted gig.

Bialik, who has a doctorate in neuroscience from UCLA, not only has the intellectual chops to host the long running series, but she’s endeared herself to the production staff as well, even bringing in cupcakes as a thank you.

Fail: Mike Richards, who was pulling double-duty as executive producer and host on Jeopardy! and executive producer of Wheel of Fortune, was booted after distasteful remarks he made in 2014 mocking women, Jews, and Haiti came to light - as well as resurfaced sexual harassment lawsuits

Fail: Mike Richards, who was pulling double-duty as executive producer and host on Jeopardy! and executive producer of Wheel of Fortune, was booted after distasteful remarks he made in 2014 mocking women, Jews, and Haiti came to light – as well as resurfaced sexual harassment lawsuits 

‘Mayim is gracious, warm and smart and Michael is a diligent leader who is focused on producing a show for the viewers,’ a source says.

Behind the scenes, Embassy Row’s Michael Davies agreed to step in on an interim basis as executive producer.

‘Michael is just a natural leader, he makes it about the show and what the viewers want, it’s not about him,’ says a source. ‘It would be wonderful if he could balance both Embassy Row, his production company, and Jeopardy!, we’d all be here for that.’ 

A source tells DailyMail.com: ‘It is such a refreshing change to what life was like on set with Mike Richards who made it all about Mike Richards.’

Even prior to the resurfaced harassment lawsuits and offensive comments, fans were disappointed over the choice to name Richards as host as many felt he had an unfair advantage since he was already executive producer of the show.

‘There is no doubt that Mayim is totally cut out for the job. She has the goods to back it up and is very pleasant and professional to all of us,’ says a member of the production team. ‘So many of us wanted her from her first tape day several months ago. She is perfect for it.’

After the Richards kerfuffle, Sony went back to the drawing board in their search for a host but the Jeopardy! team is hoping the powers that be will hurry up and name Mayim permanent host.

‘We just wish Sony would put us out of this endless period of flux and appoint Mayim as host and Michael as the permanent executive producer,’ says a source.

‘The combination of the two of them is magic. We think Alex would be proud, and that matters so much to all of us who work for Jeopardy! and our loyal viewers at home.’

The right replacement: DailyMail.com previously reported exclusively that the production team behind Jeopardy! wants Bialik to be named permanent host and Michael Davies as executive producer

The right replacement: DailyMail.com previously reported exclusively that the production team behind Jeopardy! wants Bialik to be named permanent host and Michael Davies as executive producer 



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