The Wendy Williams Show host, 57, is focusing on her health and “enjoying herself” after stepping away last fall, the insider adds. Williams delayed the premiere of her current season in October 2021 after testing positive for COVID-19 and has not returned to the gig since, with guest hosts filling in on a rotating basis.
“She is enjoying the time beyond work that she never took before,” the source tells Us of Williams, who “doesn’t feel like going back” to work at the moment. “She is happy and her health is not preventing her from going back. She’s improving [and] surrounded by love.”
The Dancing With the Stars alum is making up for lost time with family and appreciates the chance to be “normal.” As her break continues, Williams isn’t “worried about a timeline” for getting back in front of the camera, per the insider.
“The show is just a show,” the source says, noting that the Hold Me in Contempt author has “done well for herself” over the years and “is not going to give it all up.”
Us confirmed earlier this month that Williams would not be returning to her show at all this season. On Tuesday, February 22, it was announced that Sherri Shepherd would officially be taking over the New Jersey native’s Fox time slot in the fall.
The 30 Rock alum, 54, called the opportunity a “dream come true” in a press release, adding that she “look[ed] forward to this new journey” on her forthcoming show, Sherri.
Shepherd was one of many stars to step in for Williams throughout the season and she previously appeared on The View from 2007 to 2014. Her wealth of experience is what made her the perfect person to fill Williams’ shoes, according to Debmar-Mercury copresidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein.
“Her love for the content and daytime fans is obvious, and we are excited to partner with her to create another long-term talk franchise,” the pair noted in a statement on Tuesday, calling the shift in hosts “bittersweet” amid Williams’ ups and downs. “We all have a great love and affinity for Wendy. … We hope to be able to work with Wendy again in the future, and continue to wish her a speedy and full recovery.”
The Ask Wendy author has been candid about her trials and tribulations through the years, including her struggle with Graves’ disease and her history of substance abuse. Williams previously took hiatuses from her show in 2018 and 2019, but she reassured fans last fall that her health wasn’t a concern.
“I’m making progress but it’s just one of those things that’s taking longer than we expected,” she wrote via Instagram in November 2021. “I’m a woman of a certain age, and I know enough to listen to my doctors and will return to my purple chair as soon as we all agree I’m ready. … I love spending my mornings with you all and I’m doing everything I can to get back to work, but right now Wendy has to focus on Wendy.”
For more on the talk show host’s highs and lows, watch the video above and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.