The new year is setting off right for Al Roker, who will make his much-anticipated return to the Today show on Friday, January 6, his first in-studio appearance since taking a break due to health issues.
“We have some great news to share this morning: Al is coming back to the show,” Savannah Guthrie announced on Tuesday’s (January 3) edition of the NBC morning show. Roker hasn’t appeared in-studio since early November when he was hospitalized for blood clots in a leg and lungs.
“Everyone’s like, ‘When when?’ Well, we have our date,” added Today co-anchor Hoda Kotb. “He’ll be here Friday. He’ll be right here in Studio 1A . This is his place. He’ll be in his seat, right where he belongs. I cannot wait for that.”
“The family will be back together,” said fellow anchor Craig Melvin, with Guthrie adding that the show is “not the same without Al” and “our sunshine is coming back Friday morning.”
Roker, who has been the Today show’s weather anchor since 1996, last appeared on the November 4 broadcast. He has been in and out of the hospital since then, which meant he missed the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time in 27 years and the annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center.
He has recently been recovering at home and updating fans on his progress via Instagram and video calls on the Today show. “It’s been a tough slog, I’m not going to deny this,” he told his NBC colleagues on December 12 when they surprised him at his home.
“This has been the hardest one yet — and you know, I’ve had my fair share of surgeries,” he continued. “But it gives you a profound sense of gratitude for this outpouring of prayers and thanks. I’m a very fortunate person.”
Today, Week mornings, 7/6 c, NBC