Kelly Ripa spoke about how "surreal" it feels being back in the studio to film new episodes of Live! With Kelly and Ryan after more than six months of remote shows due to the coronavirus pandemic. The host addressed the "strict" new on-set rules in a recent interview and admitted she's found it particularly tough to not be able to get close to people, particularly her co-host, Ryan Seacrest.
"Now that we're back in the studio, it's great to see each other, but we're constantly not allowed to get too close to each other," Kelly said while speaking to PureWow.
She explained that they have large circles on the floor that they have to stand in to speak to one another.
"We have to stand on them if we're going to talk to each other, and they're very strict about it. They're not taking any chances," the mom of three added.
Kelly added that she wasn't the biggest fan of filming the remote episodes over the summer, which saw her video call in from her vacation home in the Caribbean before she headed back to New York, while Ryan chatted from his Los Angeles house. They returned to the studio on September 8 when Kelly jokingly shared a photo of them in gas masks and hazmat suits on social media.
"It's a little bit surreal. I'm just glad that we're all sort of in the same room, because it is very helpful to not have to wonder what's going on in everybody's mind."But even though they're back in familiar territory, the former All My Children actor added that things still aren't easy.
"We are all such a family that it was a lot harder on us than we originally realized that it would be," she said.
The new rules on social distancing also mean that the co-hosts have to sit far apart and ditch their usual desk for two smaller, separate ones. Kelly confirmed in the new interview that they're sitting six feet apart at all times.
The seating arrangement has caused some confusion over the past few weeks. Using clever camera trickery, the space between the two has been edited out by splicing two shots together to line up the New York City skyline background, making it look like they're right next to each other.
Live! suffered a tech fail last month when the American Idol host lost his hand due to the crop.