Kelly Ripa is revealing what she’s looking for in a new co-host when Michael Strahan departs Live! with Kelly and Michael on May 12, and possibly throwing a little shade towards her soon-to-be former co-host’s.
For the first time since Michael announced his departure, Ripa spoke out about what she’s looking for in a co-host in a candid new interview with People, where she admitted that she needs to “trust” whoever takes the seat next to her on the ABC morning show.
Revealing that she’s looking for someone who brings “chemistry and camaraderie and trust,” Ripa admitted that finding the right partner will “take a lot of work” following a slew of reports that claimed Michael totally“blindsided” her with news of his leaving.
“You want somebody working there who’s comfortable working there,” Kelly continued, which could be Ripa’s way of confirming rumors that she and Michael aren’t exactly seeing eye-to-eye behind-the-scenes of the series. “It’s very much like an equation, an algorithm,” Ripa said.
While Kelly Ripa did not explicitly confirm or deny whether or not she was referring to Michael when revealing that she’s looking for someone to sit beside her who will be “comfortable” on the show, Kelly’s latest remarks follow a slew of reports that alleged Strahan has not felt at home sitting alongside Ripa on the series for some time.
Hollywood Life recently claimed that Strahan’s announcement that he was quitting Live! with Kelly and Michael for a full-time role on Good Morning America had made things very “uncomfortable” for himself and Ripa and alleged that Kelly had started playing “mind games” after publicly bringing up his past divorces live on air.
“Mike’s not a fake person,” a source told the site last month after it was announced that Strahan would be leaving the show months earlier than originally planned. “There was no way he was about to sit up there, next to Kelly, uncomfortable, knowing there’s tension between them.”
“The mind games and awkward conversations between him and Kelly remind him of playing football — it hurts and he’s got a huge headache,” Hollywood Life‘s insider continued. “Mike’s grateful to the show, the staff, the viewers and even to Kelly. But his end date couldn’t come sooner.”
TMZ also reported this week that things aren’t exactly friendly between Kelly and Michael backstage at the morning talk show in the lead up to Strahan’s final day at the end of this week, reporting that the tension between Ripa and her co-host of four-years is “palpable.”
But while Kelly may or may not have been slyly putting Strahan on blast in the new interview, Ripa did confess to People that she’s definitely not looking to fly solo when Michael leaves the show for good on May 12.
“I like having a partner,” Ripa admitted in the candid new interview, “I don’t think it works otherwise. I need someone sitting next to me.”
Kelly Ripa also appeared to shoot down rumors that ABC were considering bringing in a female co-host to replace Michael, telling People that she thinks part of the morning show’s success is down to having a “mom and dad” taking the reins.
Kelly didn’t name names when it came to just who could be replacing Michael Strahan, though the site did note that Ripa teased “Stay tuned” when CNN anchor Anderson Cooper’s name was thrown into the mix of potential co-hosts.
Who would you like to see join Kelly Ripa as the new co-host of Live! with Kelly and Michael? Do you think Kelly was referring to her alleged tension with Michael in the new interview?
[Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for CNN]