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Kelly Ripa Reveals Why Regis Philbin Didn’t Talk to Her Off-Air: He ‘Had a Mandate’

Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa attend a press conference on Philbin's departure from "Live with Regis and Kelly" at ABC Studios on November 17, 2011 in New York City.Robin Marchant/FilmMagic

A quiet zone. Kelly Ripa revealed that she Regis Philbin did not speak off-air during their time hosting Live! With Regis and Kelly for 11 years.

“Regis had a mandate: Absolutely no talking off-camera,” the former soap actress, 46, said in an interview with The New York Times published on Sunday, December 10.

“He had almost a superstition about it. You save it for the show,” she added about her former Live! cohost, 86. “I’d be like, ‘Good morning,’ and he’d say, ‘Save it for the air!’

Ripa and Philbin hosted alongside each other every morning from 2001 to 2011 before the legendary New York-bred broadcaster retired. In an interview with Larry King in February 2017, Philbin admitted he hasn’t spoken to Ripa since he left the show.

“She got very offended when I left. She thought I was leaving because of her,” he told the late-night talk show host at the time. “I was leaving because I was getting older, and it wasn’t right for me anymore.”

In the NYT interview, the mom of three noted that things have changed since her new morning sidekick, Ryan Seacrest, joined the ABC daytime talk show in May 2017, noting that the two socialize off-air, texting at night and even hanging out on weekends.

In between Philbin and Seacrest, retired NFL player Michael Strahan took the seat next to the 15-year Live! vet before announcing his exit in May 2016 after almost four years. The announcement blindsided Ripa, leaving her to take a four-episode hiatus. Upon her return, she expressed her disappointment in an opening monologue. “What transpired though over the course of a few days has been extraordinary in the sense that it started a much greater conversation about communication and consideration and, most importantly, respect in the workplace,” she said.

After Strahan’s final show, a number of celebs sat in as guest hosts alongside Ripa, including Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, Erin Andrews, Fred Savage, Seth Meyers, Rob Lowe, and her husband, Mark Consuelos, for months before she announced Seacrest as the newest permanent cohost.

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