One week after it was reported that TV5 had decided not to renew his contract when it expires in October,Willie Revillame announced on Tuesday that his noontime show “Wowowillie” will, in fact, end that month and he will go on a long vacation afterwards.
“Ako muna’y magpapahinga ng ilang buwan, ng isang taon o anuman, malalaman ninyo. Tatapusin ko na lang po ang kontrata ko sa TV5. Ang last day of my contract ay October 15. Maybe October 12 will be the last show ng ‘Wowowillie’,” Willie said.
He said he had written a letter to TV5 chairman Manny V. Pangilinan about his wish for a vacation. He also said he has personal reasons for his decision but declined to identify them.
Instead of a mere vacation, however, his decision was interpreted by media outlets like the Inquirer and even TV5 itself as one of retirement.
In fact, the TV5 Corporate PR Department released this very brief official statement last Tuesday on behalf of the network: ”We respect the decision of Mr. Willie Revillame to retire upon the expiry of his contract with TV5. We wish him well in his new pursuits.”
Willie notably skirted the issue raised last week by the blogsite Fashion Pulis, which claimed that TV5 decided not to renew Willie’s contract because he had demanded a new deal worth P90 million a month.
Fashion Pulis also claimed that Willie immediately wrote a resignation letter to make it appear that he had made the decision not to renew his contract and not TV5.
Just last Friday, Jay Montelibano, business unit head for Williie’s production company Wil Productions, denied the report and claimed that no such negotiation had taken place, pending the assumption into office of new TV5 president and CEO Noel Lorenzana on June 1.
Since its January 26 premiere, “Wowowillie” has figured in at least two major controversies. The first came in late February when Willie publicly berated two of his co-hosts, Ethel Booba and Ate Gay, after a backstage row.
The second happened in April when the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board placed the show on a six-month probation and gave it an SPG (strict parental guidance) rating due to the “very skimpy outfits of its female dancers”.
“Wowowillie” marks Willie’s return to the daily noontime slot after his successful and often-controversial run as the host of its precursor “Wowowee” on ABS-CBN from February 2005 to July 2010.
When he moved to TV5 in late 2010, he brought his act to the early evening timeslot, hosting “Willing Willie”. He renamed the show “Willtime Big Time” the next year following a public uproar over a tearful “macho dancing” performance by a six-year-old boy.