Kelly Ripa is admitting that her former Live! co-host Regis Philbin actually refused to talk to her when the cameras weren’t rolling. Despite the two hosting the show – then known as Live! with Regis and Kelly – together for 10 years between 2001 and 2011, Ripa revealed this week that Philbin had a very strict no talking rule before they got out in front of the live audience.
Kelly made the pretty surprising admission about her former co-host in a new interview, where she dished on Regis’s request to not speak to him backstage.
“Regis had a mandate: Absolutely no talking off-camera,” the host told the New York Times of what it was really like to work alongside Regis for a whole decade, admitting that he was so strict about not speaking to one another before getting onto the set that “he had almost a superstition about it.”
“You save it for the show. I’d be like, ‘Good morning,’ and he’d say, ‘Save it for the air!’” she recalled of how Philbin would often shut her down when she tried to exchange pleasantries behind the scenes.
Ripa’s latest confession appears to confirm reports claiming the two were never really close off-air and haven’t maintained a friendship since Regis left the morning show six years ago.
However, Kelly made it clear that it’s a different story with her new co-host Ryan Seacrest, who officially took over from Regis’s replacement Michael Strahan earlier this year to form the show’s new title, Live! with Kelly and Ryan.
Despite some feud rumors that began to circulate after it was confirmed that Ryan would be taking on the gig, Kelly confirmed that she and the American Idol host hang out together all the time away from the set and also speak all the time off camera.
She even hinted that she’s expecting Seacrest to carry on with the show even after she decides it’s time for her to call it quits. Kelly called Ryan the “future of the franchise” and the “future of ABC.”
However, Ripa hasn’t exactly been quite so complimentary to Philbin over the years.
Though rumors swirled earlier this year that Regis could potentially have returned to Live! after Michael confirmed he was leaving the show to head to Good Morning America full time, it was revealed that Ripa and Philbin actually haven’t spoken for years.
Back in February, Regis appeared on Larry King Now and admitted that he hasn’t spoken to his former co-host in about three years.
When asked if he still keeps in touch with Kelly, he responded per Us Weekly, “Not really, no” before claiming that the former soap star was “very offended” when he left the ABC morning show in 2001.
“[Kelly] got very offended when I left. She thought I was leaving because of her,” the former America’s Got Talent host explained of why there’s potentially some bad blood with Ripa but denied that the star had anything to do with his decision to call time on the series.
“I was leaving because I was getting older, and it wasn’t right for me anymore,” he said.
Adding that he believes Ripa took his decision to leave very personally, King then asked “Never heard?” to which Philbin bluntly responded, “Never have.”