(CBS News) – Vanna White assumed solo hosting duties on “Wheel of Fortune” for the first time since the game show began airing 37 years ago. Taping of the game show was briefly suspended last month when host Pat Sajak fell ill due to a blocked intestine, but White quickly stepped in to cover for the longtime host.
Episodes featuring the letter-turner as host began airing on Monday. In her usual role was Minnie Mouse, as “Wheel of Fortune” airs on ABC, a network owned by The Walt Disney Company.
White tweeted ahead of the episode’s airing that she was “excited and nervous.”
Speaking with the New York Times, White said it helped that she was so familiar with the mechanics of the game.
“Normally I just stand there and I turn my letters, and I’m just happy as can be not having to worry about anything else, but here I am controlling the game,” White explained. “So logistically, it was much harder. But I know every aspect of the game, which helped so much.”
Monday’s episode marked the first time White hosted an entire episode alone. She took over for Sajak during a 1996 episode after laryngitis made left him unable to finish taping the show.
Sajak tweeted that episodes taped prior to the recent surgery he underwent to fix the blocked intestine will begin airing in a few weeks, but then another slate of episodes featuring White as the host will air the week of January 6. Episodes taped after his surgery will air later in January, with Sajak resuming hosting duties.
Sajak says he’s doing well post-surgery, according to Today.
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