Kelly Ripa Skips “Live” After Being Blindsided By Michael Strahan Announcement – WATCH VIDEO
As Gossip Cop reported, ABC unexpectedly announced on Tuesday that Strahan will be leaving “Live” to join “Good Morning America” full time. He will likely depart the talk show over the summer and start on the morning news program, for which he’s served as a part-time correspondent, in September. Ripa and the “Live” staff did not know of the major change until just before the news broke publicly.
The TV personality is said to be upset and angry that she was kept in the dark, apparently so much so that she chose not to go to work on Wednesday. When the live broadcast kicked off, Strahan was joined by Ana Gasteyer. He said right off the bat, “Kelly’s off today, and filling in for Kelly is Ana Gasteyer, everybody.”
While Strahan did that introduction like there was nothing more to it, he went on to deadpan, “I’ve been in the news lately.” He then just as nonchalantly said he’s “leaving this show,” sparking a chorus of jeers and boos from the audience. “It’s the same channel, so I’m not going anywhere,” Strahan insisted, adding, “I was reading some stuff and it sounded like I died!”
More seriously, Strahan then stated, “But I do want to say to all of our viewers out there, everybody who’s watched this show over the last four years… You still continued to give us your eyeballs and watch this show. And for everybody that’s come through here in the live audience over the course of the last four years, thank you guys.”
“I couldn’t have asked for better fans at all, and you guys have been absolutely amazing,” Strahan said to cheers. “And on top of that, I’ve worked with an incredible staff here. I’m always here. I’m always available to guest co-host if I get a call, because I consider myself to be a part of this family forever.”
Strahan wrapped up by again extending thanks and assuring the audience he wasn’t “going anywhere” soon, but there was no mention of Ripa at all. Meanwhile, on “GMA” earlier in the morning, it was announced that Strahan will be coming on board as an anchor, and teased that he will be on the show Thursday to discuss the new gig live. See today’s “Live with Kelly and Michael” opening sans Ripa below.
UPDATE: At the end of Wednesday’s show, Strahan again addressed his departure, this time thanking Ripa and executive producer Michael Gelman for the opportunity to be on the show. “I really want to thank, of course, Kelly Ripa, because Kelly welcomed me here, and I’ve learned so much from her. She’s been an amazing influence on me and it has truly changed my life to be here with her,” Strahan said.
He continued, “I know that the show will continue to be strong and great because of Kelly and Michael Gelman and the staff here. Everybody is so talented and this show has not been around for over 30 years by mistake… Kelly, I thank you and I love you and everyone else here at ‘Live.'”