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Alex Trebek opts out of Canadian Screen Awards appearance

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek gives update on his health amid cancer battle
Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek provided a one-year update on his pancreatic cancer, stating the survival rate for the year mark is typically 18 per cent, and he has reached that milestone.

Less than three weeks ahead of the annual awards show, Alex Trebek has officially opted out of making an appearance at the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards.

The Jeopardy! host’s attendance was “always tentative,” as confirmed by a representative of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television (or the Canadian Academy) on Wednesday.

Trebek, 79, is set to be honoured with a special tribute at the event later this month in the midst of a lengthy battle with stage IV pancreatic cancer, according to the Hollywood Reporter (THR).

Instead of appearing at Toronto-based ceremony, however, Trebek will pre-record an “acceptance” message — which will be shown live onscreen during the nationwide broadcast at the end of this month, according to the Canadian Academy.

In this April 30, 2017, file photo, Alex Trebek speaks at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center in Pasadena, Calif.
In this April 30, 2017, file photo, Alex Trebek speaks at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center in Pasadena, Calif. Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

The news comes only a week after Trebek gave a public update regarding his cancer, diagnosed last March, where he expressed his gratitude for surviving one year with the life-threatening disease.

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In Canada, an estimated 5,500 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 4,800 died from it in 2017, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.

According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer from 2008 to 2014 was 8.5 per cent.

It’s currently unclear if the much-beloved host’s reasoning to skip the Canadian Screen Awards was related to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, THR suggested on Tuesday that the decision was related to his ongoing cancer treatment and chemotherapy.

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID-RML via AP
This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID-RML via AP. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID-RML via AP

In regards to the panic surrounding the rapidly-spreading novel coronavirus, the Canadian Academy issued a statement to its official website earlier this week, revealing it would not be cancelling or postponing the upcoming awards show.

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“As Canadian Screen Week draws near and COVID-19 continues to dominate the headlines, we want you to know that we are committed to making our events as safe as possible,” the Academy wrote.

READ MORE: Alex Trebek gives one-year update on his cancer: ‘There were moments of great pain’

The statement continued: “We continue to remain in close contact with all levels of government about the situation, and using risk assessment tools provided by the Federal government, we have determined that the majority of Canadian Screen Week events hold a low risk for our attendees.”

Global News has reached out to the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television seeking further comment.

Alex Trebek gets emotional after contestant’s answer
Alex Trebek gets emotional after contestant’s answer

The Canadian Academy announced its full list of nominations for the Canadian Screen Awards last month. The highly-anticipated event will be broadcast live from Toronto on March 29.

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Trebek’s heartfelt update video can be seen in the video above.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca