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'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek gives an update on his health, previews special episodes from vault

For the first time in history, Alex Trebek said 'Jeopardy!' is opening up its 'vault' to feature fan-favorite episodes, including his first one as host.

WASHINGTON — The beloved host of "Jeopardy!" Alex Trebek released a special message for his fans to update them on his fight against cancer and what the show's plans for dealing with COVID-19. 

"I hope you're all doing well during these difficult times," Trebek, sporting a white goatee, said to start off his message. "As many of you know, whenever there is a break in our tape schedule I often take that opportunity to grow some facial hair." 

The long-time game show host said he hopes to be returning to the studio to tape new episodes very soon, but in the meantime, they'll be airing "special Jeopardy! episodes that will be coming up in July."

Trebek explained that, for the first time in history, the show's vaults will be opened and some fan-favorite episodes will be aired, including the very first show he ever hosted.

"Mustache and all," Trebek said.  

Show producers combed through almost 8,000 episodes and found the 20 most compelling shows in the series' history. The throwback episodes are expected to start airing on July 20. 

Last year, Trebek revealed that he had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. While the one-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer patients is just 18 percent, he hit that milestone in March. 

Trebek, who turns 80 on July 22, said he is still doing well. 

"I've been continuing my treatment and it is paying off. Though it does fatigue me a great deal. My numbers are good, I'm feeling great," Trebek said.

TEGNA contributed to this story. 

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