April 5 will be the last time that Kathie Lee Gifford will star alongside Hoda Kotb during the fourth hour of the Today Show. This dynamic duo has been making viewers laugh in the mornings since 2007. With a glass of wine in hand, the pair shared the ups and downs of their life with their viewers. Gifford endured the loss of her husband Frank while Kotb adopted her daughter Haley Joy. Their show served as a more lighthearted spot in what can often be a pretty somber news day. Gifford will be moving on from the Today Show to pursue other dreams, according to USA Today.
While longtime fans may be sad to see Gifford move on after so many years, the television personality is ready for her next chapter. She explained that she’s had a dream of starring in and writing movies since she was a little girl. She’s now 65-years-old and feels that she’s running out of time to make that dream a reality.
“It’s not that I wanted to leave the ‘Today’ show. I just had to leave if I wanted to actually fulfill lifetime dreams I have that I’m running out of time for.”
Gifford didn’t expect to stay on the Today Show for as long as she did, which was nearly 11 years. It was Kotb and the rest of the Today team that made the early mornings beyond worth it. She and Kotb developed an incredible bond through the show and their connection was part of what made the show a success for so long.
This isn’t the first time Gifford has moved on from a longtime role. She hosted Live with Regis and Kathie Lee alongside Regis Philbin from 1985 to 2000. Thus, she knows how tough it can be to move on after so many years of working closely with someone. Nevertheless, her departure isn’t necessarily a sad thing for her and she knows she’s going to see Kotb and the rest of the team again.
“I certainly won’t bawl like a baby. I’ve been in this business too long, and it’s not like I’m dying, and it’s not like I’m never gonna see these lovely people ever again. I’m leaving one particular job and one particular building for something that I’ve been wanting to do my whole life, and I have so much to look forward to. So it’s not a sad thing for me.”
Jenna Bush Hager will be taking over for Gifford after she leaves.