Kelly Ripa is still shocked by bungled handling of Michael Strahan's 'Live' departure: 'It was outrageous'
Kelly Ripa still believes Michael Strahan's departure from Live was "outrageous". (Photo: Mark Davis / Getty Images)
Kelly Ripa is approaching 20 years on Live! - and she thinks about some ups and downs.
In a new interview, the Live! The 50-year-old co-host of Kelly and Ryan was asked about the Michael Strahan era from 2012 to 2016, which ended abruptly when it was announced he was jumping ship for an appearance on another ABC show, Good Morning America would. Ripa was memorably "blind" and found out at the same time as the press, even though her name was in the show's title before his. She took a few days to process the latest news before returning to the show and frankly addressing Strahan's departure with the audience, explaining the need for "communication, consideration and, above all, respect in the workplace."
Ripa, who co-hosted the show with Regis Philbin for a decade before the former soccer star replaced the retired Philbin, told Variety that after her public demand for respect, she was commended by her peers, saying, "I heard about me don't think there was an on-air woman I haven't heard from: either a personal letter, or an email, or a text, or DM. It's so easy to think it's just you. But you . I would be amazed how many people don't feel seen or heard at all. "
About the blatant nudge, Ripa continued: “I made no fuss; it wasn't a big deal; I just thought I don't do that. If I am not worthy of discussion, if I am not worthy of you having this conversation of mine - it was outrageous. "
Strahan's exit from the show was pushed up so that the awkwardness between the co-hosts didn't have to play out longer than necessary - despite the fact that it did in the press. Both have discussed it publicly over the years. Strahan said in January that he would not be part of a team on Live! Feel. He struggled with being a "buddy" for Ripa. He also said he didn't do a piece for the GMA job, it was ABC managers who wanted to switch shows. However, he admitted that his departure "could have been handled better".
Ripa also spoke about Philbin, who died in July and abruptly announced his resignation on the air in January 2011.
"I think there was a contract dispute," Ripa recalled. "I don't know what happened, but he announced he was going to go on the air and it was a shocking moment. But then he decided to wait until the end of his contract so he could stay there for a year."
Ripa and Philbin also had frosty relationships - Philbin said Ripa was "angry" with him for leaving the show. For Ripa's part, she said their relationship only played on screen as Philbin thought their chemistry was better when they weren't talking when the cameras weren't rolling. Nevertheless, she paid him great tribute after his death.
Ripa also revealed that Strahan's tenure on the show could be skipped entirely if her current co-host Ryan Seacrest had his way. When Philbin retired, Seacrest - with whom she is friends - contacted her about the job.
"He reached out his hand to me and said," Do you think there is a chance we could work together if this goes down? "She remembered Seacrest and asked.
Seacrest ultimately did so as a replacement for Strahan in 2017. Though Ripa admits ABC executives were a little nervous.
"What the show liked about Regis and I is that we didn't really have a relationship," said Ripa. “They liked it when two people got together, had breakfast and let everything unfold. The network and the studio are scared of Ryan and I, that we're so close and that we were so close - it would be like working with yourself! "
But it worked - and in part because she sees Seacrest as a much more sophisticated host to her own person on camera, who she describes as someone who willingly brings out all of her "imperfections".
Seacrest is "so polished and I'm not," she said.
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