It’s time for Nancy O’Dell to say “see you later.”
The longtime co-host of Entertainment Tonight revealed on Friday night’s broadcast that she will be leaving her role on the esteemed show in order to begin a “new chapter.”
“Tonight I’m excited to tell you about the start of a new chapter in my life… a new chapter for this small-town, grateful girl from Myrtle Beach, SC, who used to watch fellow Carolinian Leeza Gibbons and Mary Hart on Entertainment Tonight, thinking, ‘Wow, what beautiful, powerful women and what a cool job they have!’” O’Dell, who has hosted the show for nine years, said.
“I never take for granted how you have welcomed me into your home and busy lives,” the red carpet maven continued.
O’Dell, 53, then explained that a friend had recently suggested she create a “life list,” with a list of career accomplishments on one side, and a list of goals still to be achieved on the other.
“As I take on that list of things still to come, it means leaving this position, but it does not mean I am leaving the genre,” O’Dell said, adding that after taking some time off to spend with her daughter, she will “be back and it won’t be long.”
O’Dell took a moment to remember her manager, agent and friend, John Ferriter, who helped her get her job at Entertainment Tonight and died just a week ago.
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“Shortly before his passing, he told me life is too short, do what makes you happy, you’re creating you’re own best life,” she said. “I think I’ve heard Oprah say that too… two smart people.”
“I’m proud to have this show as part of my story,” she said, closing her remarks by dedicating “this last sign off” to Ferriter.
“This last sign off is for you, John, and for all the viewers whom I have an unbreakable bond with from our daily chance to talk all things entertainment. That bond will never change,” O’Dell said. “So, it’s not goodbye, but rather just turning the page to the next chapter.”
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O’Dell later shared her emotional final sign-off in an Instagram post, as well of a photo of herself and her fellow co-host Kevin Frazier in a sweet embrace.
“Been quite the emotional day. On the same day I had to say goodbye to my longtime friend/agent at his memorial, I said goodbye at @entertainmenttonight ,” O’Dell wrote in the caption. “But just as I know my friend will still be w/ me in spirit forever, I’ll never lose the family I’ve gained at #ET nor all the fabulous viewers whom I have a forever bond w/ from talking all things entertainment every night.”
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“On to my next chapter in life,” she added, saying she is “grateful” and “excited” in the post’s hashtags. “Thanks for the sweet hug @kevinfrazier family #friends #ET #specialtimes #memories #workfamily”
Frazier, 55, shared a similar photo of the friends and longtime coworkers hugging in his own Instagram tribute to O’Dell.
“From Charleston to Hollywood, we have shared lots of good times , a few tough times and plenty of magical moments,” he wrote in the caption. “thank you @nancyodell for letting me be a part of your journey … ”