Craig Ferguson's nights of dancing with the fake horse are numbered.
The Scottish-born host of CBS' "The Late Late Show" told his studio audience during Monday's taping that he will leave in December when his current contract expires.
"CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are 'consciously uncoupling,'" the 51-year-old comic joked in a statement issued by the network. "We will still spend holidays together and share custody of the fake horse and robot skeleton, both of whom we love very much."
Since he took over in 2005, Ferguson has developed "Late Late Show" into one of the most idiosyncratic shows in late night, featuring the host dancing with Secretariat (two actors in a horse costume), conversing with a robot sidekick and interviewing guests while chomping on an unlit pipe.
But Ferguson's future on CBS grew cloudy after reports earlier this month indicated the network had approached former "Daily Show" guest host John Oliver to take over the 12:35 p.m. slot (Oliver is doing a weekly show for HBO that premiered Sunday night). CBS also recently announced that Stephen Colbert will take over for "Late Show" host David Letterman in the 11:35 p.m. slot sometime next year.
Before he entered TV, Ferguson was a drummer in Glasgow rock bands; among his bandmates was Peter Capaldi, who now plays the title role in the British sci-fi series "Doctor Who."
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