Keillor hints at ‘Prairie Home’ transition in 2016

Garrison Keillor takes questions
Garrison Keillor has hinted at retirement from A Prairie Home Companion so many times that it’s a wonder there isn’t a nationwide grain-of-salt shortage.

His latest rumination comes via the Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Mass.) in which Keillor suggests that Chris Thile, the mandolin player and singer for the trio Nickel Creek is in line to be host. Thile hosted two shows in February, and is already scheduled to host two shows in the coming season, but Keillor obviously sees more of Thile and less of him on stage the following season.

“Chris is my man,” said Keillor, “and I’m eager to stay home and read books. But of course, I’ll do whatever needs to be done to assure an easy transition — sing, dance, do ‘Guy Noir,’ talk about my home town, whatever is required.”

(Update 6/28) Thile, too, confirmed he’s the new host.

“Everything Garrison said is true, and I’m really excited,” Thile told Mandolin Cafe.

Keillor is in the Berkshires, hosting his show at Tanglewood, the idyllic summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Related: Thile transitioning to fulltime Prairie Home host. (Mandolin Cafe)