Kelly Ripa, Michael Strahan Hold Hands on ‘Live’ After His Early Departure Announcement

Consummate professionals. Despite the ongoing, behind-the-scenes drama at Live with Kelly and Michael, cohosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan gave no hint of any tension on the show on Wednesday, April 27.

In the opening moments of the live broadcast, the stars walked out together again in solidarity, hand-in-hand. Both Ripa, 45, and Strahan 44, bumped along to the music as they approached their plush chairs on set. Strahan then pulled out Ripa's seat for her as she turned and said "thank you."

The audience roared in response. "Calm down. It's only Wednesday!" Ripa joked. She then turned to Strahan and asked, "What's going on?"

Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan attend 2013 CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute at The American Museum of Natural History on November 19, 2013.
Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa attend 2013 CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History on Nov. 19, 2013. Jamie McCarthy/WireImage

"Nothing," Strahan replied. "My buddy Gary O'Neil is in town. Flew in from L.A. yesterday. I invited him to the gym yesterday. He passed. Other than that, just a quiet dinner. I went out with him and his girlfriend. My life is pretty simple."

"I got eyelash extensions," Ripa said of her evening. "So, my mom is a nonfancy lady and she doesn't wear makeup. She doesn't believe in anything like that and she looked at me and she says, 'If it's one smart thing you've ever done for yourself, it's those eyelashes.'"

The two then bantered a bit, never acknowledging the huge news that broke on Tuesday, hours after Ripa returned to the show. Live confirmed to Us Weekly in a statement that Strahan is leaving four months ahead of his originally scheduled September departure date. His last day will be on Friday, May 13. 

Kelly and Michael on Live
Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan on 'Live'

"After meeting with the producers of both Live 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," the statement to Us read. "To that end, Michael’s last day on Live 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 cohost. This plan also allows GMA to start integrating Michael into the show more often this summer before his full-time start in September."

As producers begin to hunt for Ripa's next cohost, Us Weekly exclusively revealed on Wednesday that the bubbly TV personality has some names in mind. A source tells Us in this week's issue that Ripa is "talking about leaving" the program unless she's joined by one of two close friends: Anderson Cooper or Andy Cohen.

"Unless one of them can come on, she doesn't really want to do it," the insider tells Us.

Watch the video above for more.

 

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!