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Barker on retirement: ‘I'll miss the show’

So you’re Bob Barker, a millionaire many times over and it’s your first day of retirement after 35 years as host of the hugely popular television game show “The Price Is Right.” So how do you start your first day of retirement?Well, you wake up at 5 a.m. on the West Coast to talk on the telephone with TODAY, of course.“I’m retired from the ‘The Price Is Right.’ I don’t intend to
/ Source: TODAY contributor

So you’re Bob Barker, a millionaire many times over and it’s your first day of retirement after 35 years as host of the hugely popular television game show “The Price Is Right.” So how do you start your first day of retirement?



Well, you wake up at 5 a.m. on the West Coast to talk on the telephone with TODAY, of course.



“I’m retired from the ‘The Price Is Right.’ I don’t intend to be a recluse ... I will do things when they come along if they would be fun or if I have the time,” Barker, 83, said during a live interview with Matt Lauer and Ann Curry. “I’ll still be around.”



Hosting the hugely successful game show on CBS for 35 years, and “Truth Or Consequences” before that, has been great fun for the silver-haired Californian with the distinctive voice, ever-present smile and a kiss for every female contestant to appear on his stage.

Barker, a vocal and strident animal-rights activist, said he is considering a request to write a book about his life and is excited about the possibility of doing some network specials.



“What will you miss the most, Bob?” Lauer asked.



“The money,” Barker deadpanned without blinking an eye.



After the laughter subsided, Barker said he got misty-eyed after the show’s final taping Wednesday when a stage hand, who had been with him since his “Truth Or Consequences” days, told Barker he loved him.

“It was emotional day for me,” Barker said. “I’ll miss the show. It was great fun. It’s what I’ve done all my life. I’ll miss that most, actually, and I’ll miss the people I worked with.”



Barker also held open the door on the possibility that he’ll do nothing at all in retirement, if it suits him.



“I might very well do something,” Barker said, his well-known voice sounding like it was not quite yet awake at the early hour. “But on the other hand, if I enjoy just sitting, that’s what I’ll do.”



The final “Price Is Right” with Barker behind the long, thin microphone airs June 15. His successor has not yet been named. For now, it’s Barker’s time to enjoy the limelight just a little longer.



Although he plans to keep working, Barker has given thought to what he would like his legacy to be.



“I think I would like to be remembered as a man who loved living things and did everything he could do to make it better for animals,” Barker said. “And when he had time, he did a lot of television shows, too.”