Michael Strahan Talks Departure From ‘Live!’ For The First Time

Kelly Ripa was absent from Friday and Monday's episodes of Live! With Kelly and Michael after Michael Strahan announced that he was leaving the show to be with Good Morning America full-time.

Ripa, however, is expected to reunite with her co-host during the Tuesday episode of Live!. Strahan, who has appeared on Good Morning America a couple of times in the past, said that he took the new hosting job because it was just too good of an opportunity to pass up.

This is the first time that the former NFL player addressed his unexpected departure from the show. He was interviewed by Jonathan Tisch for the Help USA and 92Y's Change Makers event in New York on Monday when he remarked that he is now taking the high road amidst all the drama surrounding his decision.

He shared, "To me it's a testament, not just to me, because as I said, everything is a team. It's a testament to Live!, from [producer Michael] Gelmanto, Kelly [Ripa], for them to say, 'You are good enough to be here' and then I go there, and I do well enough to get a job for two days at GMA and then they say, 'Well, you know what, we really could use you here.' It's a team. It's ABC. It's a group. It's a family."

The exit of Strahan from Live! With Kelly and Michael is set to take place in September. He'll still be with the show until he transfers to Good Morning America. He said that he's not looking at his departure as a form of abandonment, but rather looks at it as him being needed in another part of the ABC family.

He also addressed the drama that was brought about by other people who have commented on the matter. He called the situation "unfortunate," as they do not fully understand what is going on. He added, "You take the high road. If you argue with somebody who doesn't know what they're talking about and people see you arguing they don't know who's the fool."

It was previously reported that Kelly Ripa felt blindsided by the announcement of her co-host and that she felt really furious as no one on the show gave her a heads-up on his departure.

On Friday, the staff of Live! With Kelly and Michael received an email from Kelly Ripa, who has been with the show for 15 years now, saying that she will be back to work on Tuesday. She noted that she was thankful for people giving her the time she needed to process the information about her partner's departure from the show.

She added, "Your kindness, support, and love has overwhelmed me. We are a family, and I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday morning. Love, Kelly."

Accordingly, Michael Strahan and ABC boss Ben Sherwood gave their apologies to Kelly Ripa for not telling her about the news in advance. The trio reportedly talked over the weekend, and that Kelly Ripa appreciated the gesture.

As for her Tuesday comeback, sources are saying that Ripa intends to say her fair share of apologies to fans who were worried by her absence from the show.

On the Monday episode of Live! With Kelly and Michael, Michael Strahan said that he is excited about his co-host coming back on Tuesday. Millions are said to be anticipating the Tuesday episode to see how the two co-hosts will interact with each other.

[Photo by Donald Traill/AP Images]