There’s serious tension between Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan ahead of Michael’s final appearance on Live! with Kelly and Michael on May 13.
According to a new report by TMZ, Ripa has been sending Strahan “a clear message” in the week leading up to his last day and is allegedly refusing to exchange pleasantries with her soon-to-be former co-host before the show, as she has done for years.
The site is reporting that for the four years the duo have co-hosted Live! with Kelly and Michael together, Kelly has always left her dressing room door open as an invitation to Michael to come and say hi before they head out to the studio together – but that’s now changed.
“Strahan believes she’s sending a clear message,” TMZ reported this week, noting that while the duo appear to have put the drama behind them while on air, “the tension between them is palpable” behind-the-scenes as Michael gears up for his last appearance with Ripa on the morning show at the end of the week.
And it sounds like Strahan’s final day on the show can’t come soon enough, as the site alleged that the former football star has asked that his last show sitting alongside Kelly is kept “low key” because he supposedly “just wants out of what’s become an unfriendly environment.”
Though Strahan’s new position with Good Morning America is not set to begin until this coming September, it was announced last month that Michael will actually be leaving Kelly’s side months earlier than planned, which had fans of the show speculating that there could be serious drama between Ripa and Strahan behind-the-scenes.
“After meeting with the producers of both [Live! with Kelly and Michael] and Good Morning America, and after speaking with Kelly and Michael, we have decided on a plan that best advantages both shows for the future,” a spokesperson for ABC told E! News on April 16.
“To that end, Michael’s last day on [Live! with Kelly and Michael] will be on Friday, May 13, which not only gives the show the chance to have a nice send-off for him during the May book, but to also immediately begin the on-air search for a new co-host,” the spokesperson added.
“Mike’s not a fake person. There was no way he was about to sit up there, next to Kelly, uncomfortable, knowing there’s tension between them,” a source close to the co-host told the site after the news broke that Strahan would be departing the series months earlier than expected.
“The mind games and awkward conversations between him and Kelly remind him of playing football — it hurts and he’s got a huge headache,” the insider added.
What do you think of reports that Michael Strahan is being iced out by Kelly Ripa in the lead up to his last day on Live! with Kelly and Michael?
[Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images]