Kelly Ripa will not be returning to Live! With Kelly And Michael after allegedly being “blindsided” by Michael Strahan’s departure announcement. According to Mail Online, Ripa wasn’t on the show this morning and she will not be back on the show until Strahan is gone. The former soap opera star is said to be very hurt that Strahan didn’t tell her about his plans to leave Live! for Good Morning America, and she wants nothing to do with him.
“Kelly isn’t making any demands. She is very hurt that Disney hasn’t even spoken to her yet so they are assuming that she isn’t coming back. She wants to wait and see what happens. She’d also like someone to do the right thing and speak to her face to face rather than plot and plan behind her back,” said a source.
Kelly Ripa has been a staple on Live! for the past 15 years. She was Kathy Lee Gifford’s replacement back in 2001, taking on the position in the seat next to the legendary Regis Philbin. It was a huge break for Ripa, who had just started a family with husband Mark Consuelos. The show offered her stability in a sense, and once Philbin left, she became the center of attention, which she seemed to take on effortlessly. She was joined by Strahan, which seemed to compliment her presence and the two held their own for the past four years.
However, all good things must come to an end, as they say.
Michael Strahan — who joined the program in 2012 — is excited for his move to Good Morning America. He chatted a bit about his decision on this morning’s broadcast of Live! (without Kelly).
“It is the same channel. I am not going anywhere. I was reading some stuff and it was like I had died. It’s not a eulogy people,” he said, talking to this morning’s last minute co-star, Ana Gasteyer.
Michael Strahan praised Kelly Ripa in a statement released by Entertainment Tonight. He had nothing but lovely things to say about the blonde firecracker, and it sounds like he will miss being her co-host. Of course, when an opportunity presents itself and money is offered, moves are made — and sometimes those moves are sudden.
“I look forward to continuing to work with the incredible team at GMA. It is an exciting opportunity to be able to bring unique stories and voices to the audience. My time with Live With Kelly and Michael has been transformative, and my departure will be bittersweet. Kelly has been an unbelievable partner, and I am so thankful to her and the entire team. I am extremely grateful for the amazing support I’ve received from all of the fans.”
While Kelly Ripa’s decision to not attend today’s taping was shocking to some fans and news that she won’t be returning until Strahan is gone is even more surprising, Strahan took the high road and made sure to talk about his co-host in a warm way at the end of today’s show.
“I really want to thank, of course, Kelly Ripa. Kelly welcomed me here and I’ve learned so much from her and she’s just been an amazing influence on me and this has truly changed my life to be here with her. And I know that the show will continue to be strong and great because of Kelly and Michael Gellman and the staff here because everybody here is so talented. This show has not been around for over 30 years by mistake. Kelly, I thank you. I love you… and I’m not going to cry on TV mama, I promise you.”
So far, a Kelly Ripa co-host has not been found. Rumors have been flying, but sources say that the show’s producers will be doing open calls to see who has the best chemistry with Ripa and who will be able to keep the ratings for Live! steady.
It does seem as though there’s a chance that Kelly Ripa will leave the show altogether. Do you think she should? Would you miss not having Kelly on Live!?
[Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images]