Ripa’s predecessor speaks! Kathie Lee Gifford has some advice for Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan amid their ongoing Live With Kelly & Michael saga. The TV personality — who sat behind the Live desk for 15 years with Regis Philbin — gave her two cents during an appearance on Fox 411 on Tuesday, April 26.
“Be totally professional. I would keep anything that is going on between you private,” Gifford, 62, said. “It’s nobody’s business but yours. But always, always be professional at your job. That’s what you’re hired to do.”
Gifford’s comments came on the same day that her successor, Ripa, 45, came back to the daytime talk show after four days off. The former soap star took a sick day last Wednesday, one day after being blindsided with the news that Strahan, 44, was leaving for a full-time job at Good Morning America. (As Us Weekly exclusively revealed, Ripa also had a prescheduled vacation to celebrate her 20th wedding anniversary with her husband, Mark Consuelos.)
Ripa opened up about the drama when she returned to Live on Tuesday. “Our long national nightmare is over,” she joked to the studio audience and the millions watching at home. “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.”
Despite the cheerful monologue, Scandal star Bellamy Young, who was a guest on the show, revealed afterward that she felt some tension on set. Hours later, ABC confirmed that Strahan would be leaving the program in mid-May, four months earlier than originally announced.
Ripa replaced Gifford on Live in 2001, joining then-cohost Philbin. Philbin, who previously said that he hasn’t spoken to Ripa since his 2011 exit, addressed the current Live debacle last week.
“[Strahan’s] great. He was great on the [New York] Giants, he was great on our show. He’s doing a lot of stuff. He’s a real pro,” Philbin, 84, told TMZ cameras on April 22. “They’re going to be all right. It’ll be fine.”
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